Category Archives: Young People

Our 2014 Blog review. Something to say about #vulnerable #youngpeople? Be a #guestblogger in 2015

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 830 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people

Click here to see the complete report.

Running away only makes things worse: @nolimitshelp blog #Runaways #YoungPeople #Vulnerable

suicide_male_wallFor many, coming home from a long day at work to a warm, cosy house with a loving family is no luxury, it’s just the norm. However for many children and young people across the UK, the home is a cold place of abuse, neglect and harm. Every year an estimated 200,000 people go missing, half of which are children. Last year at No Limits we saw 66 young people who were runaways, 54 of which were at risk of another vulnerability. Whether they’re running away from someone or something, a missing child is made vulnerable to violent crime, gang exploitation or drug and alcohol misuse. Young people need to be made aware of the dangers of running away and how this can cause a risk to themselves and their families. No Limits works to protect children and young people who are at risk, and helps to provide free support, advice and counselling to prevent suffering. You can help to address the issue of young runaways by donating to No Limits, or by offering your time to volunteer at one of our open access drop-in centres. Don’t let a missing child go unnoticed or unreported.

No Limits: Helping young people help themselves.

By Jess Sulzmann, Intern, Marketing and Communications No Limits

@Nolimitshelp Guest blog by @RowennaDavis Does working hard pay? #youngpeople #NEET

No Limits

No Limits: Helping young people help themselves.

It’s funny how one conversation with a stranger can completely change your views on things. I bet this young person doesn’t even remember talking to me. I met him doing some youth outreach work. He’d stolen some trainers and I was trying to figure out why we were seeing a spike in crime. I remember saying to him, convinced I was right:
“Why would you risk a criminal record just to get a pair of shoes? If that’s what you want, why not work hard at school and get a decent job? Then you could get a new pair every month!” He barely looked up before he gave his answer: “My brother worked really hard at school and went to uni – he’s not got a job, just a bunch of debt. So why should I?”
To be honest, I was stumped. He had a point. Although there’s no excuse for criminal behaviour, too often young people feel that looking for work in the usual way won’t get them anywhere.
The old deal that said if you work hard, you will get a decent job and live in security. Too often this doesn’t apply to this generation. Even if you’re talented and hardworking, you’re lucky to get a job on poverty pay with a zero hour’s contract.
This kind of wasted talent and lack of opportunity is one of the key reasons I’m standing for election in Southampton. We in the Labour Party believe that if you work hard and put the effort in, it will pay off and you will get a decent job. It’s one of the reasons we offer a jobs guarantee for young people who have been out of work for a year.
Of course it will take more than politicians to turn this around. If you’ve got some free time, why not think about volunteering to help the excellent work of No Limits? If you’re a business leader think about what extra work experience and apprenticeships you can offer.
Although right now I’m just a candidate, I’m trying to do my bit by offering work experience to young people interested in politics, so get in touch if you’re interested!
Together we can stop young people feeling like the young man I met, and give them faith that their hard work will pay off.

Guest Blogger Rowenna Davis  Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Southampton Itchen

Rowenna can be contacted at rowenna@southampton-labour.org.uk

Rowena Davis

Youth homelessness increasing in the UK by @nolimitshelp

MAXWILLISPOSTERHOMELESS

It’s that time of year again and once again a barrage of ads – depicting perfect families, festive fun and Christmas cheer – stream relentlessly into our cosy living rooms. We all know life isn’t this perfect or ideal, but for some young people across the UK, their reality couldn’t be more distant.

Many young people across the UK this Christmas are facing a festive period of poor health, malnourishment and loneliness – why? Because they are homeless.
Here at No Limits we have seen an increasing demand on our services from homeless young people. Last year we saw 576 young people at risk of homelessness, 300 were sofa surfing and 191 were street homeless. Our services are highly cost effective. Each quarter our work with homeless young people is saving local (Southampton and Hampshire) services over £300,000 per quarter…over £1.2 k per year (Crisis Performance Indicators)

Thousands of young people throughout the UK are currently homeless. In real terms 75000 young people sought help from services when they became destitute, which means shockingly 1 in 100 young people in the UK have experienced homelessness in just one year (19% of all young people). Help is not always available or pursued and many resort to sleeping rough on the streets, becoming increasingly disengaged with society.

Since 2010, Government figures highlight that the number of homeless young people have intensified, in fact increasing by a third. Many factors could be attributed to this increase, including: the economic downturn, low-income families struggling to make ends meet, welfare reforms such as bedroom tax and JSA sanctions. Some young people once made homeless or of no fixed abode, face an uncertain future with potentially grim prospects.
“With rising youth unemployment, a changing welfare system and many families struggling to get by, youth homelessness is likely to get worse.” Said Jacqui McCluskey, the director of policy and communications for Homeless Link

That’s not all. 53% of homeless agencies were closed or were threatened with future closure thanks to a decrease or complete withdrawal of government funding. These figures highlight the abhorrent threat to the third-sector – specifically youth organisations, which are vital to our society.

Once young people become destitute, a multitude of problems become a horrifying reality.

They are:

  • More likely to suffer with drug and alcohol problems
  • More likely to become NEET (not in education, employment or training)
  • Very likely to be excluded or willingly leave the education system
  • Vulnerable to prostitution
  • More likely to engage in anti-social behaviour/crime
  • More likely to suffer with poor health

Why are so many young people becoming homeless? 

According reports, the biggest factor in homelessness in the UK is “family breakdown”, usually between the young person and their parents/step-parents. Some young people endure such relentless emotional/physical conflict within their home environment that becoming homeless is considered a better option.

Often young people resort to sleeping on night buses, in car-parks or squats. Sometimes friends are willing to put them up for short periods of time, but sofa-surfing is a temporary means to an end and often doesn’t last for more than a few days.

Who is likely to become homeless?

Young people who come from various problematic backgrounds are more likely to become homeless. Including:

  • People who have been in care (6% of all care leavers become homeless)
  • People who have been excluded from school
  • People who run away from home
  • People who suffer any form of abuse at home
  • People from financially deprived circumstances
  • People aged 19 or 20 (31%)
  • People aged 21-25 (50%)

Many young people do not expect to become homeless and find it extremely difficult to cope with their appalling situations.

“I moved away cos of what me [sic] dad did to me mum, me dad used to abuse me mum, beat her up and that.” Said twenty-something, Neil, who became unexpectedly homeless following the breakdown of his family unit.

Where can young people go to get help?

There are a number of organisations that can support young people with the process of finding temporary accommodation, as well as helping them find long-term solutions, through addressing problems affecting their circumstances, such as joblessness, family dysfunction and drug and alcohol abuse.

This problem will not be going away any time soon and is likely to get worse, thanks to increasing youth unemployment, but we can do something. We can support young people who are struggling to survive by donating money/time or food to charities who are committed to providing assistance. Donating food parcels to food banks or a participating supermarket is another way to really help provide to those in desperate need.

Spare a thought for the thousands of homeless young people, who aside from being lonely, deprived and at risk – will have nowhere to sleep on Christmas day.

Do your bit this Christmas. Make a real difference.  Give to someone who really needs it.

No Limits: Helping young people help themselves.

By Max Willis

My learning curve:Combating homo/transphobia #gay #lesbian @nolimitshelp

Gay Flag Until I became a charity fundraiser for No Limits I was, for many years, in primary education. It is only recently that I have began to understand and realise the full extent of the prejudice suffered by young people who are LGBT ( lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender).

One of my current projects is fundraising for Breakout Youth, a charity that supports young (13 to 21 years old) LGBT young people in Hampshire. Here are some facts that I gleaned in my trawl for information. There is much more information on a range of sites such as Stonewall.

National stats show that LGBT young people are:

  • 2 to 6 times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth.
  • At much higher risk than the heterosexual population of substance abuse.
  • At least 7 times more likely to be crime victims than heterosexual people.
  • More likely to contract HIV (gay young men)
  • More likely to be homeless (40% of homeless youth are identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual)
  • More likely to be rejected (50% of all gay and lesbian youth report that their parents reject them).

If you are:

  • an individual concerned with the extremely widespread issue of violence against and amongst school children and students
  • a teacher or other educational staff who takes seriously every child’s right to be safe at school and to receive a quality education
  • an organisation working on the rights of the child
  • an organisation working on gender-based violence
  • an organisation working on the rights for sexual and gender minorities
  • a local authority, city council, local government,…. which has a mandate on education
  • a trade union working on the right to education
  • or any other constituency concerned with this issue

Then look here  for more information to help you combat homo/transphobia.

If you live in Hampshire and need support, advice and help  about issues around sexuality then contact Breakout Youth or No Limits.

No Limits: Helping Young People Help themselves

#YoungParents Should Read This

Life is a lottery and where you are born can mean everything…

The #DuchessofCambridge is in labour and the #RoyalBaby’s birth is imminent. The press are waiting with baited breath, “boy or girl, future king or queen?” What a life awaits this child. No financial concerns will dog its parents, no housing problems or school dinner money worries will keep them awake at night. A life without many of the problems facing parents in the UK today.

What about young parents? For them life can be tough on myriad levels. For those who lack the vital support of an extended family unit, parenthood can be even harder. Isolation can have a devastating effect on a young parent and create future problems for the children. In addition, young parents often face a barrage of criticism and judgement from the media who continue to stigmatise them in the press. Some may feel left out by their child-free peers who don’t have time for them anymore, as well as facing a future without a formal education – limiting future job prospects. Others slip into a life using drugs and alcohol to combat seclusion.

The list is endless, but there is hope.

No Limits run a project for young parents called Bright Beginnings. By working on an individual basis with young people we aim to extend our knowledge and experience of parenthood to those who need a little extra help and support. No Limits encourage young people who are pregnant or who have small children under two to maintain good relationships with people and build strong, positive connections with their children. The Bright Beginnings’ mentors are focused on building parenting confidence, encouraging and teaching the methods that will enable their children to flourish.

Young people will continue to have babies in the UK despite the customary sex education in schools and the rudimentary knowledge of how tough life can be as a parent. When it does happen though, instead of dismissing and condemning, we should continue to offer ways of improving an outcome which could be potentially disastrous long-term.

If you are a young parent who needs our help, please visit us at No Limits, 24A Bernard Street, Southampton, SO14 3AY or call 02380236237

If you would like to volunteer as a Bright Beginnings Mentor, get it touch – No Limits need you! If you would like to provide No Limits with much needed financial support to continue fundamental services then send £3 via TEXT to NLMO1.

A life changing experience.#nolimitsradbikechallenge

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At the end of September No Limits will be supporting four young people take part in the
Rad Vlaanderen Stuttgart Challenge. This team event involves riding 500+ miles from Bruges Belgium) to Stuttgart (Germany) in three days. There is more about this challenge here.
This event will provide a potentially life changing experience to those young people that take part. All of them have already faced adversity and challenging issues that have given them a disadvantaged start in their lives. This exciting venture could make a huge difference to their lives.
There is only thirteen weeks left until the start. We will be inviting eight young service users to take part in the training and preparation and the four that show the most commitment will take part. This is much to do…..sourcing bikes, equipment (helmets, riding clothing, backpacks etc.), accommodation, ferry crossings, passports and, of course, training. By the middle of September the young people will need to be cycling at least 100 miles per week…….
So if you know of anyone that can help with bikes, equipment, sponsorship please let us know or make a donation here.
We will keep you updated about the progress made by the young people…..so come back to this blog or subscribe via e mail.
No Limits: Helping young people to help themselves.