John and Patsy were invited to the Thatcham Mayor making ceremony on Sunday.
Ellen Crumbly was voted in as the Mayor for a second year. Each year the Mayor chooses two charities as her charities for the year. All fund raising events she attends over the year and the money raised at these events is shared between her two charities at the end of the year.
We are very lucky and happy to say that Ellen has chosen our charity to be one of her charities of this year....
Your donations help change young peoples' lives, they don't support "homeless dossers". Read more on this here.
When we are out and about raising awareness of our project, we occasionally get people saying to us "I don't agree with paying money to these homeless dossers." Patsy, the founder of the charity, would like to say a few words about our charity and our young people to raise awareness of the positive support our charity gives which hopes to combat this thinking.
"Young People And Children First is a project set up by John and myself to help young people to get the most out of their own lives. It is by no means a doss house. Without our charity these young people do not have much choice of where they can live. It's often us or a 52 bed big hostel or as is mostly the case, on the streets. No young person asked to be born. They all deserve a chance in life. As a child you are where you are, not through your own choice but the way life has been dealt to you. It's not fair that some young people find themselves homeless through no fault of their own.
We are only a small charity, currently we can only take four young people into the charity at one time and put them through our project. This means that we make absolutely certain that the young people that we take in, want what we offer - they have to want to work, have to want to be in education, and have to be prepared to do voluntary jobs while we help to find them a paid job.
We work out an individual programme to meet each individual's needs. They do budget cooking, money management, independent living skills to name just a few of the Life Building Blocks we offer. It's all about us offering them the bridge to independence. Carrying on reading below to find out what our current four Young People are doing whilst living with us at our house at Cornerstone:
One young lady Is working 42 hours a week doing an apprenticeship to become a nanny. Five long working days for little pay as apprenticeships don’t pay well but the pay benefit comes once qualified and the benefits she gets along the way, are invaluable.
Another of our young ladies is working hard five days each week improving her education. She gets up at 5am and travels to Basingstoke College catching two buses. She also works at the weekend in the Toby Carvery waiting on tables so she can earn a bit of spending money.
A young man who has been with us the longest so far, almost four years now, started out by gaining experience from a few different voluntary jobs. Now, he has a full time paid job as a carer working with disabled adults. He sometimes works on Saturdays or Sunday's if needed too. Through his own hard work and dedication he can now cook, budget and manage his own tenancy. He will be moving into Independent Living later this year which is very well deserved and a credit to him for being committed to the programme we developed specifically for him and with him.
Our young people work hard, often harder than most young people of their ages. If you have children or can remember your own life at the age of 18/19 you will know that they often come home to a cooked meal, a clean house and their clothes washed. Our youngsters have to do all of these tasks themselves and after a full day, either working or in education. They not only have to cook their own dinner, wash up and do their own laundry but also go out shopping to buy their own ingredients for their meals, learn to clean the house, do the garden as well as using our volunteers for any extra tuition they need. So whereas other young people probably head out to see friends having eaten their dinner, our youngsters can't go out in the evening until all chores have been done.
They understand that life is now what they make it. But without the help and very kind generosity of the general public, people like you, this charity project couldn't continue to run. We are very cost effective because we have many willing volunteers. However we do need some skilled workers like Lorraine, our Operations Manager and we do still need money to operate and offer the young people what they need.
We had an amazing achievement last year when one young boy headed off to University. A more mature student than most perhaps, but he made it nonetheless and is doing well.
We are very proud of all of our youngsters as they all work very hard to achieve their goals.
Together, with your help, we are changing lives and giving young people a future."
The Team @ Young People & Children First
We are a mixture of volunteers, employees and Trustees who want to share all our fabulous news to all you amazing supporters.