Tag Archives: vulnerable

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.

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What will you give this Christmas? #Christmas #giving #volunteering #vulnerable #youngpeople

With International Volunteer Day coming up on the 5th of December there is no better time to become a volunteer! Here at No Limits we have 165 volunteers who offer their time to help the children and young people to help themselves. The 15,678 hours of work that volunteers contributed last year equated to £123,072 which, for a charity, is invaluable in helping us to support vulnerable children and young people. We warmly welcome any individual who would like to offer their time to support No Limits. This could range from becoming a drop-in worker supporting young people, helping with administration, to helping to bake cakes for fundraising events. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at No Limits, please do come along to our volunteering information evening on Monday 1st December 5:30-7pm at the No Limits City Drop-in Centre. For more information contact enquiries@nolimitshelp.org.uk. With the festive season being a time of giving, we would love for you to give your time to those children and young people who are in need this Christmas. We think the sign of a civilized society is where people are willing to do something positive for others for nothing. Would you agree?

Volunteering

 

 

 

 

 

By Jess Sulzmann

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

Cyber bullying – A bit of banter or brutally barbaric? @nolimitshelp

30 years ago it was the simple letter, 20 years ago saw the introduction of the mobile phone and most recently we have had Facebook and Twitter. The way we communicate has changed dramatically over the past 3 decades and similarly over time it appears we have become less connected with the impact our words have on each other. The advent of technology infiltrating almost all forms of communication has meant that it is now simple for someone, 4,000 miles away to tell you how bad your hair looks today. Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, the aforementioned Facebook and Twitter as well as less known sites such as ask.com and Kik have become avenues where most cyber bullying occurs. face

Notoriously difficult to catch despite hiding in plain sight, the cyber bully has replaced your traditional ‘playground’ bully and evolved into something more sinister, preying on the vulnerable regardless of race, gender and age . ‘It’s just a bit of a laugh’ they say. ‘I didn’t mean anything by it’ they laugh. ‘Stop taking things so seriously’ they sigh. These are the common refrains from those who enjoy playing the role. They attempt to play down their vicious words and accuse those hurt by their words as being ‘soft’. Of not seeing the funny side to their comments. Of being over dramatic. Again just excuses. But it begs the question: would you say the same thing to a stranger on the street?

Technology has made it easier for people to enjoy anonymity for their actions while at the same time increasing how malicious they become when addressing other people. You only have to look at a YouTube comments page to witness this in action. What’s even more worrying is the age at which this is all starting. Children as young as 12 have been attacking each other over cyber space. All it takes is a mobile and an internet connection. This is a worrying trend that has been steady gathering steam. A recent report published by Childline, shows complaints for cyber bullying have risen by an unbelievable 87% since 2011/2012 which highlights the increasing impact and the severity that this is having on our young people. Youth victims of cyber bullying often experience low self-esteem and are more likely to self-harm as a result with a 41% spike since 2011/2012 reported by Childline. As alarming as that figure is, there is a very real likelihood that it could be even higher with some young people afraid to come forward and report such incidents for fear of even more abuse. The issue of evidence gathering can also be complicated due to the ability to alter comments if they are pasted into a word document.cyberbully

There finally seems to be a shift from the government to attempt to tackle this issues more seriously. Secretary of State for Education, Michael Grove, has called on schools to play a greater role in stopping, “the viciousness and personal cruelty” shown by these bullies. The speed at which this is done is imperative as with each passing day, more and more young people face this cruel torment. Charities such as Cybersmile , were specifically setup to combat these issues and offer services such as a helpline, counselling and community outreach programmes. At No Limits, working in conjunction with Right 2B Safe, we aim to educate young people on how to stay safe when online by offering advice on what to do if they feel threatened online as well as ways in which to report any abuse received.

As much as we would like to hark back to a simpler time, we must all accept that technology, along with all its potential pitfalls, is here to stay. What is imperative is that we educate our young people on the impact their words can have while increasing the support and care needed for those young people who need it.

The tragic story of Hannah Smith, who hung herself after excessive bullying, should be a lesson for us all. One life lost is more than enough reason to make a change.

Ayanda Velempini

 

 

 

 

 

@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

Highs and Lows of #substancemisuse @nolimitshelp

As the UK is gripped by more unrelenting bad weather as the months pass by, there seems to be one thing that is finally loosening its hold. Substance abuse among young people. In an age where the media give us very little to cheer, this should undoubtedly be seen as a small, yet crucial, step in the right direction.

Despite our young people being the European leader in alcohol consumption, a report released by Public Health England has indicated that there was actually a fall in young people seeking help for substance misuse. This is now the fourth year in a row that the trend has continued. Clearly something is working.

On the surface the statistics look very appealing but as we peek behind the curtain, it becomes apparent there is another monster lurking in wait. Legal Highs. The relative ease of access has meant these have become extremely popular, especially among young people. A recent study conducted by World Drug Report indicated that over 670,000 Britons aged between 15-24 had tried legal highs at least once. Although the feeling with many young people may be, “Well if its legal I should be fine” the reality is much starker. As frequency of use increases, so have the inevitable problems. As per the BBC, last year saw a record high number of 52 people die from legal highs or as they put it, “an average of one a week.” Alison Ward, from No Limits, recently spoke to Radio Solent about legal highs and gave the views of charity. You can hear the full interview here.

There is no doubt that substance abuse is intrinsically linked with the vulnerability of an individual.  With over 30% of the child population in Southampton in poverty, this makes them extremely susceptible and vulnerable to such situations.  At No Limits, we have a project named DASH which aims to help young people get information, advice and support if they are struggling with any kind of substance abuse.

So next time you or anyone you know of goes through troubling times with substance misuse, pop in to one of our drop in centres  to find some support and help.

Ayanda Velempini

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