Older people sometimes get accused by members of our society of being selfish and greedy, taking wealth from the younger generation, as they have been lucky enough to be born into a generation where things were very different. Jobs for life, generous pensions and incomes were far more certain – although not for all, we recognise.
However, there is a way in which the older generation who do see themselves as more fortunate can help young people who are truly in need this winter.
It’s that time of year when some parts of the media start predicting “the coldest winter on record is coming” and people start cranking up the heating, stocking up on logs and preparing to hunker down over the festive period.
The Christmassy song goes: “Baby it’s cold outside!” But that’s not the half of it, especially if you are without somewhere permanent to call home.
Being kicked out because you don’t get on with your family or leaving in the belief that there will be somewhere safe available away from violence and neglect at home are not uncommon stories heard from homeless young people when we speak with them.
At BYHP we work with a range of young people all year round who are in very precarious housing situations and frequently spending time sofa surfing, looking for somewhere to stay or unfortunately living outside on the streets.
Most times of the year it is awful but during winter it can be deadly.
The team at BYHP work tirelessly to help young people in this situation through helping them rebuild family relationships, to get access to benefits they are entitled to, helping them to access public and private sector accommodation, enabling them to build confidence and skills and working with them to find employment opportunities.
However, the work BYHP does with 200-300 young people annually costs about £240,000 and funding sources are becoming increasingly difficult to access and more and more competitive.
So last year, when someone who regarded themselves as fortunate donated their £200 Winter Fuel Allowance to BYHP as part of our Christmas Campaign, we thought it important to thank them publicly.
This year we have already had two very kind people pledge their Winter Fuel Allowance payment to BYHP as part of this year’s Christmas Campaign so we thought we’d once more make a public thank you and to share the idea more widely in case anyone else wished to help young people in difficulty.
Thank you very much to those two kind donors.
To donate please go to: www.byhp.org.uk/support-us.html or call BYHP on 01295 259442.
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