In 2019, The Blagrave Trust commissioned the Southern Policy Centre (SPC) to publish ‘‘Help us to move on!’‘, a report investigating the barriers preventing young people from making positive transitions to adult life.
Carried out by young researchers, the research took on board the views of 450 young people across Hampshire, as well as policy makers, statutory and voluntary youth services. The results highlight two themes that young people feel overwhelmingly strong about education, training, employment (ETE) and housing.
It’s clear that change is needed, so we’ve employed four Youth Advocates to take part in a two-part project – Help Us Move On – to campaign and advocate to improve housing and employment services for young people in Southampton. They’ve decided to focus on five recommendations:
- Increase amount of housing for childless 21-25 year olds through ‘Housing First’
- Lobby local councils to fulfil their statutory duty by offering to take homeless 16-17 year olds into care
- Develop a model for sharing agency to increase supply of low-cost, decent quality shared housing to non-students
- Remove the benefits trap which discourages hostel residents from working
- Double the number of ‘informal’ education and training places, including work-based traineeships across Hampshire
Following two years of the Help Us Move On project we have had opportunities to reflect on lessons learnt and our achievements. We have had some remarkable outcomes. Some of our achievements have been:
- Developing a dialogue with a variety of decision makers in Southampton.
- Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group have reviewed participation and created a participation plan. Including ensuring services that are commissioned are required to have their own participation strategy.
- Southampton City Council are commissioning a Housing First service for young people.
- Southampton City Council are ensuring that young peoples supported housing has independent tenant forums reporting to the commissioners.
- No Limits, Southampton Football Club, Southampton City Council signing up to Youth Employment UK’s good youth employment charter.
- The council agreeing to review and improve its homelessness protocols for 16/17-year-olds.
- Children and Young People Now Finalist for The Youth Volunteering and Social Action Award.
Young People’s Experiences during the Covid-19 Crisis
Our youth Advocates conducted a local survey during lockdown to find out what young people’s experiences of lockdown are during the Covid-19 crisis. The survey results are shocking and highlight how vulnerable young people are, with stories of huge hardships.
Something needs to be done about this NOW. We are urging the local council, colleges and universities, health and the government to reach out to Southampton’s young people and give us the support we need and deserve. After all WE are the future.
Have your say!
If you have particular experiences or opinions on housing and employment for young people in Southampton, we’d love to hear from you! Your views will be passed onto our Youth Advocates and could play a key role in creating change.
To tell us your views, please email James.McCombe@nolimitshelp.org.uk or phone 02380 224 224.
“Leadership does not depend on age.” – Namibian Proverb
A chance to give back…
I’ve been helped for so many years by No Limits and now I’m doing better, I want to give something back.