From education to employment

Funding for Centrepoint will provide training for young people

Homeless charity will provide training for young people using London hostels

Government funding will benefit Centrepoint, the nation’s leading charity for homeless and socially excluded young adults, giving rough sleepers the chance to get off the streets and embark on training.

To tackle youth poverty, homelessness and unemployment, the scheme aims to fund the charity’s revamped hostels that include training and self-development facilities for access of the inmates.

As part of the Places of Change scheme, Centrepoint, which has a history of fighting youth homelessness, will receive £1.15 million from the Department of Communities and Local Government for the major refurbishment of a central London Centrepoint service, Berwick Street in Soho. A chunk of the fund will also be invested on a training centre at a new Centrepoint service in Lambeth’s Stamford Street.

Berwick Street will accommodate 19 homeless and socially excluded 16 – 21 year olds. Stamford Street will house 18 homeless 16 – 21 year olds. To help them get back on their feet, a team of full-time staff will urge these young and often unqualified adults to participate in education and training. Such programmes, exclusively designed for them, will open doors to a better future and employment opportunities.

These new service points will also help the charity come in close contact with City Council, the London Borough of Lambeth, Soho Housing Association, the Hyde Group and their supported housing subsidiary which is battling against homelessness in Lambeth and Westminster. Their mission is to house at least 240 homeless people, every year.

Centrepoint is also on the road to fulfil its long-term strategic aims of implementing its innovative ‘Foundations for Life’ project in conjunction with partner, LandAid. The property industry’s charity, LandAid has a legacy of spotting the root causes of homelessness. “LandAid Centrepoint Foundations for Life” aims to equip homeless young people with general life and basic educational skills along with specific employment qualifications and work-based apprenticeships for a more positive future.

Michael O’Higgins, Chairman of Centrepoint said:

“The fact that we have been successful in our application to receive a slice of this money comes as hugely welcome news – not only for Centrepoint but more importantly for the young women and men that come through our services.  Berwick Street in particular is one of Centrepoint’s oldest services. This investment will contribute to our ongoing strategy of providing high quality hostels where vulnerable young people can attain life skills and qualifications to enable them to secure a brighter future.”
“LandAid Centrepoint Foundations for Life” partnership, funded by the Government, is all spruced up to transform Berwick Street service into a bright and airy hostel. Shared rooms will be converted into self-contained and spacious accommodation for young people for ongoing learning and training. The site will also lodge a computer centre giving residents internet access for educational purposes and connecting with family and other young people.

Rinku Chatterjee

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