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With the scorching temperatures that hit us last week, it’s safe to say that summers here! For most of us summer time means pulling out that summer dress or shirt that’s been tucked away in the wardrobe for what feels like a life time. Leaving work when it’s still light outside and most of all long nights with family and friends. What is it with us brits, a glimpse of sun and the BBQ’s are lit!
Most of us take this for granted, and whilst we are there struggling to light the coal, there are homeless youth struggling to find somewhere to sleep and wondering when their next meal will be.
A local charity the New Horizon Youth Centre opened their doors in 1967 to address the needs of young people who were involved in drug misuse in the West End of London, but have since transformed into a support centre for young people across London who are homeless for all kinds of reasons. Today the centre has grown in the number of young people supported and interventions offered. Annually New Horizon sees 2,500 homeless or poorly housed young people and this includes their support within the daycentre, during outreach in prisons, on the streets and at their schools and colleges workshops.
To help fundraise and lift the spirits of homeless youth New Horizon held a fundraising BBQ on the 26th of June at the Rotunda Restaurant in Kings Cross and raised an astounding £25,000. On the evening, their Patron Jon Snow auctioned off his tie for a whopping £1000 – other prizes donated included a weekend away to Paris and tickets to Mamma Mia in theatre. This £25,000 will go to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people coming into London – well done everyone who attended and made a donation.
At the event we had the chance to speak to one of the youths that New Horizon has helped. Matiyas, 21 year old from Eritrea arrived in the UK in 2014. Presently she is living in a hostel but was homeless for one month. She has been involved with the New Horizon for 4 weeks and in this time Matiyas has said ‘they have given me accommodation, security, somewhere safe and access to music sessions.’ New Horizon has built her confidence up and Matiyas says ‘She feels happier now.’
New Horizon offers support to people that have no one else to turn too. They are open 7 days a week, 365 days a year between 10.30am and 4.00pm. During these times youths are provided with breakfast and lunch, a place to wash their cloths and shower. The centre offers access to health care and has a nurse onsite as well as full time counsellor. New Horizon assigns each youth to a programme that includes accredited learning opportunities and creative workshops to ready them for the outside world and to help them into rented accommodation. Last year over 2,100 received a full assessment of their needs and secured a range of services. New Horizon also have a team named Creating Positive Futures who help those who have offended, are in custody or leaving care. Their Chair, Nick Hardwick, is a Chief Inspector of Prisons and supports this and work across London to help young people throughout their moves to other areas in secure estate and in prison. Last year 580 young people were visited in prison as part of the Creating Positive Futures scheme.
In May 2016 New Horizon Youth Centre and Network Homes joined forces to embark on a highly innovative Help-to-Rent partnership to improve young people’s accommodation options and employment prospects to ensure them with long-term sustainabili
ty and development. As a result of this program 95% of project participants sustain their tenancy beyond 6 months and 85% of clients sustain their tenancy beyond 12 months. The success of this is important to not only New Horizon but for the communities, the Landlords and the people effected. It’s imperative that these figures only get better!
New Horizon have secured 320 young people with work placements and 167 youths were able to live independently having completed the Independent Living Skills Workshops sessions.
Whether we like it or not, most of us don’t think of ourselves as privileged or fortunate and kind of take our day to day homes for granted. There are people out there that don’t have a home to go to ever, let alone at the end of the working day. These people are homeless. The housing crisis in London is only getting worse and it’s been said that people travel from all over just to get the help they need from this busy city. If you would like to help this remarkable charity, please click here to find out how. If you are interested in fundraising or simply want to donate, please visit their website.
The Property Redress Scheme and Alexandra McKeown from Trading Standards Camden Council are keen to work with New Horizon Youth Centre over the next year and are already discussing future opportunities such as participating in the Brighton marathon!
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Property Redress Scheme is approved by Government under the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Consumer Disputes (Competent Authorities and Information) Regulations 2015
Please contact us on 0333 321 9418 for further details.