In the heart of Brighton and Hove, The Clock Tower Sanctuary day centre is helping vulnerable young people break away from homelessness and navigate their way to a bright, happier future. Here is how you can get involved.
Day or night, when you walk around the city, you cannot fail to notice people sleeping on the streets. Brighton and Hove now has the second largest homeless population in the UK.
Homelessness is a stressful and traumatic experience at any age, but when you are young and alone, it is particular damaging. Nearly half (44 per cent) of homeless people have been diagnosed with a mental health condition as the physical toll of sleeping outside offers no safety or stability. Christmas is a particularly painful reminder for many homeless people of that they have lost or never had.
No young person chooses to be homeless, they are the ones that have fallen though the net, often due to family breakdown. This is where The Clock Tower Sanctuary steps in. We are the support network that helps young people get back on track and prevent them from becoming part of the long-term homeless population.
The day centre provides first and foremost a safe, welcoming space where homeless young people aged 16 to 25 can come in out from the cold and get the help they need.
Supported by a team of friendly volunteers from the local community, young people can access a range of facilities to help cope with the practical problems of homelessness. These include a fully stocked kitchen, shower and laundry facilities, IT, postal services and visits from health and housing specialists.
We also provide a range of Life Skill classes and activities to help build young people’s skills and confidence. Through our one-to-one work, we help young people navigate their way to a job, a home and a brighter future.
Last year we helped 172 young people, including Dandi, aged 22, who said: “There is nothing worse than being homeless and alone. With the Clock Tower Sanctuary’s support, I’ve got a home and a job. I would really like to become a youth worker one day and give back the help I have been given”.
We are so grateful to Brighton and Hove residents who always rise to the challenge to help us. This winter we are asking for your help again. Please donate to our Urgent Winter Appeal and give young people the gift of a brighter future. £20 can pay for a young person to have a shower, a hot meal, and a place to belong.
To donate, fundraise or become a volunteer, please visit www.thects.org.uk/urgent-winter-appeal/
Frances Duncan is the CEO of The Clock Tower Sanctuary.
This article is the part of a series of Christmas features by Fugu PR showcasing the work of local charities.