While many of us are fortunate to have a stable home environment, tragically too many young people in the UK do not. That's why Marmalade is proud to partner with Centrepoint, an essential charity dedicated to improving the lives of young homeless people. The last two years have seen a huge increase in calls to their helpline (over 50%) and a £2 million shortfall in fundraising income due to canceled events - so more than ever they need funding to keep their services open. Their goal is to end youth homelessness for the next generation - by 2037. Why 2037? Because any young person born in 2021 will turn 16 in 2037, the year in which they may need help from Centrepoint.
Why did Marmalade choose Centrepoint?
Marmalade has always been about championing young drivers and offering them a fair deal so they can develop, and explore more opportunities in life. We wanted to work with a charity that aligns with our values, so we conducted a survey of our customers and staff which revealed that youth homelessness was the most popular cause to back.
Centrepoint provides 1,271 bed spaces in 5 cities, for homeless 16-25 year olds. Upon their arrival they are assigned a key worker who will be their 1-to-1 support for their journey to independence, helping with budgeting and registering for local services, as well as being their confidante and friend.
Centrepoint also campaigns and influences local and national government policy while providing accredited education, training, and work programs with the aim of liberating young people from their trauma, breaking the cycle, and taking control of their well-being. The support continues for six months after they've left - 94% move on positively - a fantastic result so help us help them do more!
How do they plan to acheive their goal?
The pandemic, lockdown and consequent social isolation caused youth unemployment numbers to more than triple, combined with a huge increase in mental health issues amongst young people. While the furlough scheme reduced youth unemployment, many who lost their jobs have returned to less secure work, especially in the booming yet unstable gig economy - future job and pay prospects have been severely damaged.
Despite such negativity, the pandemic has brought youth homelessness into more focus for the public. While the threat of homelessness can never be removed due to the array of factors that cause it, Centrepoint aim to acheive their goal by:
Preventing young people from becoming homeless:
- Increase options for mediation, respite services, family support units, and bespoke support for looked-after children and young ex-offenders
- Identify children most at risk from age 11 as they transition to secondary school, and ensure prevention interventions are in place to prevent them slipping through the net
- Improve the welfare system so that young people are not disadvantaged due to their age
Supporting young people who become homeless:
- Ensure an appropriate home, including short term homes for those in crisis, is available to all young people in need, not just those classed as priority and irrespective of location
- Services consistently equip young people to live independently by providing holistic support tailored to their individual needs, providing work, qualifications and access to health services
- Ensure that each young person for whom a temporary place to live has been provided is supported and settled into a permanent home as soon as they are ready to live independently
Enabling independence in young people:
- Fair access to affordable, suitable housing in the social and private sectors - in the locations they can be employed
- Opportunities to gain necessary skills for access to work: mentoring, coaching, internships and work placements
- Safety net from the welfare system enabling them to get back on their feet when life events cause setbacks
Centrepoint cannot do this alone - it can only be achieved by organisations and individuals across society working together. Your donation will help to optimise their current ability to help young people, increase the reach of their helpline, improve the support services available, and amplify their voice across the country with campaigning, influencing and orchestrating solutions for change.
How you can get involved and help a homeless person have a future
We’re giving anyone who buys a learner driver insurance policy with Marmalade the option to donate just £1 when they purchase. You don’t have to buy a Marmalade policy to get involved so if you’d like to support the work of this fantastic charity there are so many ways you could help. From sponsoring a room to keep them safe and warm, to paying for travelcards so they can get to training sessions and interviews, or even basic toiletries, your donation will make a difference.
Should you wish to make a larger donation you could even help them get tools for an apprenticeship or industry-specific training - you’l find examples of how powerful your donation could be on our fundraising page. Follow our social pages and subscribe to our newsletter to get updates.
What can you do to help young homeless people?
Perhaps you fancy doing something extra? From donating items, volunteering, and joining or hosting an event there are many ways you can get involved and make a difference. Here at Marmalade HQ, we will be running some fundraising activities ourselves, both in and out of the office.
Are you worried about a young person?
Perhaps you have seen a young person sleeping rough and want to help them. A kind chat could make the world of difference to their day, as sleeping rough can be a very lonely and terrifying experience, and you may just be that kind stranger they need.
Maybe they have a phone but no credit, so can’t call a day centre to find out what time breakfast is available. Or they may be struggling to get there due to a lack of travel funds. Even just a call to the Centrepoint Helpline is a great way to help them get the support they need. Call free on 0808 800 0661 (Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm), or chat online. If you believe they are under the age of 18 then please call the Police on 101, but of course, if you think they are in immediate danger then call 999.
There are also day centres they can go to for help getting back on their feet. Use Homeless Link to find a day centre in your area.
Do you need help yourself?
Perhaps you are in an abusive home, or you are technically homeless and sofa surfing, and at risk. Centrepoint are here to help you. Call them free on 0808 800 0661 (Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm), chat online, or contact them directly.