How South Yorkshire Schools and staff are supporting local youth homeless charity

On the lead-up to the festive period, many of us are beginning to wind down from work and school and gear up for the holidays. Scrambling to get our last minute presents and prepare for the big day that we’ll (hopefully) be spending with family and friends.

As we get caught up in the Christmas rush and festivities, there are many homeless young people, sofa surfing and wandering the streets trying their best to not only keep warm, but also worrying where they’ll get their next meal. A whopping 121,000 young people asked the council for help with homelessness in 2019-20. It’s worth bearing in mind that these figures are pre-pandemic and not everyone reaches the council for help.

“When councils do offer supported accommodation to young people it’s usually one option in the area and the young person could be gang affiliated or they could be fleeing domestic violence and they will be like that’s the one hostel in the area that I can’t go to and yet it’s the only one that they are willing to offer me. Which I have seen happen quite a few times.”

  •   Centrepoint Helpline Team Leader

There are too many homeless young people doing their best to stay in education, but unfortunately find it hard to function at school – studies show that sleep deprivation makes it much harder for the brain to receive information, which means their grades suffer. Even short-term homelessness can have a long-term effect on a young person’s life.

Every year around this time, the Unique team usually ventures out searching for the perfect Christmas presents to offer our schools and staff as a small token of appreciation for working with us over the course of the year. However, this year is a little different, instead of offering presents, we’ll be donating to our local youth homeless charity Roundabout on behalf of our schools and staff.

Roundabout provides shelter, support and life skills to young people aged 16-24 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness throughout South Yorkshire. Having started in 1977, Roundabout have grown their services in line with local needs, housing young people in a variety of accommodation to suit their individual circumstances.

They support young people from a range of backgrounds including those seeking support leaving the care system; those involved in the Youth Justice system; and individuals who are struggling to live at home for a variety of reasons.

Supporting over 300 young people every day, they provide key services delivering comprehensive programmes of training, involvement and empowerment which help to break the cycle of homelessness and develop long term independent living skills.

The idea of donating on behalf of our schools and staff was introduced by Caroline, one of the directors at Unique.

“We had a team meeting and everyone was throwing round ideas of what we could do to make a difference over the Christmas period, when we decided to donate on behalf of our schools and candidates, it was tough choosing which charity to go with but when Caroline came across Roundabout’s Christmas fundraising page, we made the decision as a team’’

  • Ellie Lavery, Recruitment Consultant

Youth homelessness is an ongoing issue on the rise and we cannot commend Roundabout enough for the incredible work that they do in order to combat the problem.

For roundabout it’s not just about helping those that are homeless but also preventing homelessness in the first place.

Roundabout’s Homeless Prevention Service offers advice and support to young people at risk of becoming homeless due to family relationship breakdown.

The overall aim of the service is to help reduce the need for young people to become homeless, keeping them safe and off the streets.

“We’re ecstatic to be able to support an incredible local charity such as Roundabout. After doing a little bit of research on the impact of homelessness, we were astounded by the large number of young people that would be struggling over the winter and Christmas period. It’s a cause that is dear to our hearts and the credit goes to all of the schools that have worked with us this year as without their support we would not have been able to make such a large donation on their behalf.”

Rebecca Dodd, Director

You too can give the gift of a brighter future this Christmas. To make a difference in the lives of vulnerable young people, please support Roundabout this Christmas.

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