Doorway Supporting Homeless Young People

by Carol Gallagher in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, United Kingdom

We did it
On 29th January 2023 we successfully raised £8,498 ( + est. £965.25 Gift Aid ) with 50 supporters in 49 days

Aims to increase the support we give to homeless young people to help them reduce energy bills by purchasing energy efficient appliances

by Carol Gallagher in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

Improve our drop in centre in Nuneaton to give more support to young people


This project aims to increase the support we give to homeless young people aged 16 to 25 to help them manage their bills and lower their carbon footprint through purchasing energy efficient appliances and lightbulbs to help them reduce their bills.  This is particularly important during the increased cost of living crisis this year.

If we are successful and fundraising exceeds our expectations we will use any additional funds to maintain the support, advice and development we offer to some of the most disadvantaged young people in Warwickshire.  This includes helping them to manage their tenancies and budgets.

In the community there are often preconceived ideas about homelessness but it is not just about rough sleepers.  Many of our young people are sofa surfers and cannot go home.  Initially we provide advice and support and try to reconcile young people with their families, often going home is not an option because of complex issues.

There is nothing worse than being homeless and our priority is to help young people find suitable temporary accommodation.  We have a number of temporary flats available to use in an emergency until the young person can be moved on to permanent accommodation.  The young people then receive ongoing advice, support and development to help them manage their bills and live independently.   

 About Doorway

Doorway works with some of the most disadvantaged young people (aged 16 to 25) in Warwickshire.  We specialise in working in communities where poverty and long-term unemployment have resulted in generations of social exclusion and high rates of homelessness.

 We provide a range of core services for young people (Advice, Support and Wellbeing) which are supported by other initiatives all of which aim to tackle all aspects of social disadvantage by improving the quality of rented accommodation, installing energy efficient appliances and lightbulbs to help reduce bills, providing employment advice and support and helping young people to live independently.

All Doorway’s core services work closely together to provide an inclusive approach to identify positive solutions which encourage independence and mental wellbeing.  At the heart of all of our activities is a commitment to working with young people to meet their individual needs appropriate to their personalities and situations and we strive to find better, more inventive ways to empower young people.

The aim of our organisation is to ensure that young people who are homeless can look forward with optimism, raise their aspirations and improve their quality of life. This can be achieved with access to good quality housing advice and support to equip young people with the skills and ability to move forward positively in their lives and fulfil their needs and potential.

Following a young person’s initial assessment with Doorway we invite them to attend a New Home Workshop.   This enables young people to learn and understand the responsibilities involved in managing and sustaining their own tenancy.

 The course is AQA accredited and covers topics, such as;

 Moving in - All you need to know

 Budgeting, debts and money management

 Paying bills

 The costs of living on your own

 Housing options

 Tips to keep bills down

 Personal safety and security

 Effective shopping

 Understanding agreements

Doorway has a drop-in centre in Nuneaton, Warwickshire for 16 to 25-year old’s who are homeless, threatened with homelessness or insecurely housed.  We provide help with housing, money advice, vital practical and emotional support and development opportunities to help vulnerable young people move from crisis to independence. The drop in centre has computer access for young people.

 Why we need your support

We have seen an increase in the number of referrals and the type of support required as a result of family breakdowns, mental health and other issues.  The situation has been made worse by reduced funding from statutory and other sources.  The current cost of living crisis is making the situation worse for both the young people trying to manage financially as well as Doorway.  We have seen a huge rise in the cost of both energy in the shared areas of the houses we rent and the one we own.  Like everyone else, we are also facing inflationary rent increases which we may not be able to absorb from our resources long-term.  Also, an increase in the energy costs for our offices in Nuneaton will impact on the level of support that can be offered.   Our offices in Nuneaton are used to offer a safe space for young people to come where we run workshops and training for young people and where the young people can use computers to look for and apply for jobs.  It is important that we maintain the level of support we give to young people.

 How we will use the money

Money raised from this project will go directly to fund the high level of support required in order to help young people manage their finances through the cost of living crisis and ensure that they have access to energy efficient devices to enable them to reduce their bills.

 Doorway is proud of the young people it supports and takes great pride in seeing young people turn their lives around.  Please take time to read one of our success stories below.  All names have been changed to maintain confidentiality.

 Lucy's Story

When you’re a young person living alone life can be increasingly stressful.  Seeing someone once a week who is constant and genuinely cares for your wellbeing really makes a difference.

I am so grateful for the brave work that Doorway continue to do. Without the help of Doorway and support, I and many other young people would not have access to a decent life.

Lucy had a traumatic upbringing and was forced to leave her family home.  Finding accommodation was only the start of getting her life back on track.

Lucy's mother was not present due to severe mental health issues and Lucy had a negative relationship with her father with verbal and physical abuse on a daily basis. Lucy really struggled in this environment and self-harmed regularly and in desperation of not being able to feel she could get out of this situation attempted suicide.

At this point Lucy was referred to Doorway from her 6th Form College and Doorway accommodated Lucy in emergency accommodation and Doorway supported her to move and settle in. Lucy had no experience of living independently, presenting with a number of problems including; anxiety, depression, self-harm, low self-esteem and confidence. 

Lucy struggled living alone which impacted on her health. She felt unsafe and scared. Lucy’s support worker listened to her fears, supporting her to approach her college for extra support. Counselling was arranged and slowly Lucy’s grades at College improved and she began to feel more positive about things.

Lucy attended cooking classes and was able to assist fellow Doorway young people to learn to cook meals, illustrating just how far she had come and highlighting an increase in her own self-esteem and confidence.

With Doorways support, Lucy was able to finish college and pursue her dream of going to University. Lucy ended her tenancy positively and now studying at University with bright plans for the future.

Please help us to support more young people like Lucy.

 

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