Mental Health Awareness Week is with us again; does it feel like a year since we had the last one? What difference has it made to you, has it raised your awareness and sustained your awareness or did it come and go?
Reading moving stories of those who are brave enough to share their personal struggles with ill health can be very moving and yet, what impact does it have on society when we still hear of the stigma surrounding mental health.
I was wondering what to blog about to mark the occasion next week and I read an article on the Mental Health Foundation website https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/ which is setting a challenge.
How good are your relationships? Can you improve them? They are asking everyone to prioritise their relationships and make a relationship resolution.
Could you invest more time in being with friends, family and colleagues and listening to them, actively committing to building good relationships?
Try it and see and then see if you can keep it going all year; Mental Health Awareness should be with us all year not just for one week, after all, we all live with our own physical and mental health even if we are not thinking of it.
Let us actively support someone who we know needs a helping hand; one person, one gesture, is sometimes all it takes to make a difference. #MHAW16
Hi, hope you are all having a good week after the Bank Holiday weekend.
Just wanted to share something with you - we support between 200 to 300 young people and their families a year and we do that on between £200k and £300k income per year (both numbers vary based on which year but it is pretty consistent).
That means our service costs a little less than £1000 for every young person we support.
We help them remain in a safe home family situation;
We help them work through various problems with 1:1 support and counselling;
We help them navigate through the complexities of housing registers, benefits systems and tenancy agreements;
We give them confidence and hope to move forward in their working lives and...
We provide a surrogate family home to those who don't have one.
£1000 to change a young life - not much is it?
Please keep spreading the word about BYHP - your support is priceless to us but we need funds urgently to continue our work.
BYHP - Hope....not just homelessness
Please help BYHP by texting BYHP01 £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070 or by visiting https://localgiving.com/charity/byhp
(Photo: Four Shires Magazine)
Local man John Assheton of The Mullet Press based in Milton, Banbury has, for the last week, been undertaking a massive cycling challenge from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for local charity Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP).
John and his wife Amanda have been supporters of BYHP for some years and as Amanda had previously undertaken a challenge for BYHP, John decided to go for the challenge known as #LEJOG, cycling some 874 miles in an attempt to raise £10,000 for the charity.
Having left Land’s End on Tuesday 12th April John hopes to make it to his final destination within 10 days, arriving on Thursday 21st, beating Amanda’s 11 day record!
After 6 days John has already reached nearly £4000 for BYHP which will help provide support to many young people across Banbury and the surrounding area, as BYHP requires over £200,000 a year to support them with Family Mediation, Counselling, Housing Advice and Employability Training.
To add to the challenge, John is also managing to find the time to write some poetry describing his exploits and why he is doing the challenge and it can be seen at www.themulletpress.co.uk.
If you would like to donate to support John in his challenge to help BYHP please go to
Tim Tarby-Donald, Head of Business at BYHP said:
“Supporters like John and Amanda are invaluable to the work we do supporting Young People locally – it is amazing that people want to push themselves to the limit to help us continue our work. Thanks so much to
them and the kind people who have donated”
Banbury Young Homelessness Project (BYHP) are delighted to announce a new contractual relationship with Oxfordshire Adult Learning, provided by Abingdon & Witney College, which is funded by the Skills Funding Agency, to deliver the next two cohorts of the Unlocking Potential Employability Programme.
The contract between Abingdon & Witney College and BYHP which is worth up to £10,000, was recently agreed and signed following an application process to the Oxfordshire Learning Network in February and on confirmation of a successful bid, BYHP has joined the UK Register of Learning Providers and has been implementing all of the elements to provide training services to Oxfordshire Adult Learning.
The two courses will take place over three full days for five weeks 19th April to 19th May and 21st June to 21st July and anyone over the age of 16 who is Not in Education, Employment and Training is eligible to apply to take part. 16-18 year olds are supported by the charity and should get in touch if interested in this initiative, however, the funding is specifically focused on enabling those who are 19 years old and above to move forward in their lives.
Preventing homelessness has always been at the heart of BYHP.
Our Family Mediation programme strives to keep all our young people safe, whether it is at home or with extended family, supported housing or private rented accommodation but always somewhere they can call home.
Relationships with parents can often be rocky going through the adolescent years but, if this relationship was fragile before, it can often break down completely when faced with adversity.
Even if the young person doesn’t return to the family home, they still want a relationship with their family and often having the support of a Family Mediator, a professional who is non-judgemental and listens, can make a huge difference to the dynamics of families.
A group of professionals from many different organisations such as DePaul, Crisis, Relate, St Mungo’s and Barnados gathered together with Centrepoint to discuss effective ways to prevent youth homelessness.
In conclusion, it was agreed that lots of support around the whole family is essential and Family Mediation plays a huge role with this. Other factors come into play with parents’ expectations and poor resilience, poverty and overcrowding, all of which have a detrimental effect on young people’s aspirations.
The pressure to leave home and find a job and not be a burden on their families is immense and can often lead to poor mental health. We need an holistic approach to each individual family and to recognise that some families will need support long term.
We have a lot of work to do to improve prospects for the young and disadvantaged and their families who come to BYHP, and it is with the support of our funders and the local community that we can continue with this valuable and necessary intervention to improve life opportunities for everyone.
The BYHP team look forward to working with Centrepoint in other areas where BYHP delivers services.
One of the strengths of BYHP is the small, dedicated team, all of whom want the very best for the Young People who turn to BYHP for support and help.
Whilst it would have been wonderful to publicly recognise each of these team members, we decided to nominate Aida Walsh for the Plus One Personnel Oxfordshire Employee of the Year Award and we were thrilled to hear that she had been put forward as one of the five finalists for the prestigious award.
On Thursday 28th January representatives from companies and charities based right across the county came together to celebrate the achievements of companies, apprentices, teams, employers and employees at a glittering event at the Oxford Belfry, hosted by BYHP’s very own Trustee and Treasurer, the inimitable Mr Simon Smith.
Following an initial period of time networking and catching up with friends and colleagues over a glass of fizz, a wonderful spread of food and posing for a few photos, the assembled attendees made their way into the room for the main event, 6 awards celebrating wonderful achievements.
The awards for Apprentice of the Year, Team of the Year, Employer of the Year, Commitment to Employment and Charity Fundraiser of the Year were contested and results announced http://www.plusonepersonnel.co.uk/employee-awards/2016oxfordshirewinners/ and we waited for the final award of the event, the one giving its name to the whole event, the Plus One Personnel Oxfordshire Employee of the Year award.
As the primary award in the competition, there had been a large number of submissions and so we were so proud of Aida for making the final five and we had hopes that this year she would go one step further than the beaten finalist position that she achieved in 2015, especially as the award was sponsored by one of BYHP’s supporters, Bibby Financial Services.
The competition was tough, with Aida up for the award against Chris Trim of Jamie Briggs Removals, Tarryn Skene from Hedges Law. WRAP UK’s Sarah Clayton and Jamie Hamilton from Aspire Oxford.
The stories of achievement were fascinating and the nomination which convinced the judges of the nominee’s accomplishments was a very strong and worthy one, detailing the amazing journey made by Jamie Hamilton from Aspire Oxford, who support people with a background of homelessness, substance misuse or offending histories into employment.
So, whilst we were disappointed for Aida as we felt her amazing work with young people on the Unlocking Potential programme made her a deserving potential winner, we were delighted that Jamie won, as his work and that of Aspire aligns with that which BYHP does and we felt it was important that the sector had been recognised, particularly at this very challenging time for charities in Oxfordshire and across the country. http://www.thisisoxfordshire.co.uk/news/14271316.Community_champion_presented_with_award_for_going_the_extra_mile/
In addition to that Aspire is hopefully going to be a partner organisation of BYHP in the near future and we are already working together.
So, many congratulations to Aida and to all of the other nominees and winners of the awards – and a big thank you to Plus One Personnel for hosting such a wonderful evening, celebrating the best of Oxfordshire business.
See the Awards Night video made by friend of BYHP Ben Atkinson of ATS Filmshttp://www.plusonepersonnel.co.uk/employee-awards/2016oxfordshirewinners/
Today is Time to Change’s #timetotalk day 2016
Mental wellbeing is as important to all of us as physical wellbeing so why is there still a stigma attached to mental ill health? Why is it that so many people are feeling anxious, depressed and lonely and are not able to tell anyone? Suffering with dis-ease is nothing to be ashamed of and is definitely not a weakness.
Statistics say that 1 in 4 of us will suffer with mental illness at some time in our lives; how would we want to be treated? Our young people are often isolated with no one to turn to for help or advice and are fearful, keeping their problems to themselves.
Let us break the silence that shrouds mental illness.
Let today be the day to open up and talk. For our young people, BYHP offers a counselling service, time to talk, not to be judged, time to explore feelings of hopelessness, guilt, anxiety, loss and lack of self-worth.
Maybe Time to Change is about time to change attitudes towards mental health.
Let us all challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and have that difficult conversation today; the first step is the hardest.
For more information see: http://www.byhp.org.uk/wellbeing--health-project.html
Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/mentucate/
Every single day young people face all manner of difficult challenges which continue as they grow up and enter the world of adulthood and responsibility.
At BYHP we work with hundreds of young people each year who have been thrust into that world very early and are completely unprepared. They are also forced to face additional challenges like family breakdown, homelessness or mental health problems.
These young people must face their challenges head on every day, often with very different fears to those that most of us experience.
We have at least two young people who have a fear of public transport; it is the fear of the unknown, of being on a bus or train and not sure where they have to alight, fearful of other passengers and crowds.
These fears can incapacitate someone who is already suffering from low self-esteem and lacking in confidence; without long-term, on-going support it can be almost impossible to move on.
Another challenge for a young and homeless person is simply raising deposits for private rented accommodation and finding and speaking to landlords who are willing to accept housing benefit recipients as tenants.
Today’s blog for the #BYHPChristmas Campaign about BYHP’s Santa Wish List has:
Eight folding tables - for training, meetings and events
We have already blogged about Unlocking Potential in this series and as part of that our facility becomes a training room which means that we need tables to sit at.
We have a few but it does sometimes get a little cosy sat around the small number we have if we have a group at the maximum size of 12.
Today’s blog for the #BYHPChristmas Campaign about BYHP’s Santa Wish List has:
Seven packs of hats, gloves and scarves (or as many as you are willing to give)
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that it gets cold in winter and even if young people have some sort of accommodation, often they end up spending a great deal of their days outside as they may feel unable to stick around during the daytime at friends’ houses, in their temporary accommodation or in B&Bs etc.
So, what could be better for us to collect for our young people than the hats, gloves and scarves we all get out from the back of the cupboard when the chilly days start to bite or for those more fashion conscious, the ones purchased at the shops to renew last year’s out of fashion items which are still perfectly useable.
Given that our Wish List has been circulating for a while now, we have already had some kind donations of such items, notably last week from The Tibbetts Group Limited and from The Goodman family.
Our blog is a great way to stay up to date with current events and projects, stories from our young people and the general goings on at BYHP.