I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by an ITN film crew this week as part of the People’s Millions, which launches on Monday 25th November. The news crew came down to Southwark where we have a pop-up training facility and filmed the young people at work and interviewed me, Rob, one of our trainers, and Josh, a young person who we have helped into work. It was great to be able to tell our story and why our work is so necessary in deprived communities. We want to secure people’s votes on the day so that we can win £50,000 to fund a new project Build Better Lives we want to deliver in partnership with homeless charity Centrepoint.
The project aims work with young homeless people and uses one of their hostels as a site for training them in construction skills such as painting and decorating, and of course at the same time improves their living environment so it feels more like a home. Some of my team were able to go to the hostel and meet some of the residents yesterday and it was sobering to learn that over 80,000 experience homelessness every year in the UK. Most of them can’t find work and there is no way out of the trap of unemployment and homelessness that they are stuck in.
A quarter of young people in London are out of work and this statistic is representative of other areas of the country too. As we slowly come out of the recession we can see more and more construction being happening with great potential of jobs for young people. I know that if we can work with young unemployed and homeless people to give them construction skills and an introduction to a potential employer then we can give them a new start and change their lives.
We are keen to maximise our support but we can’t do it without the help of the industry. If you think you can help us with jobs or work experience then get in touch. Do please remember to support us on the 25th November by picking up the phone and voting for us to win the People’s Millions – the number is released early on the morning and you can only vote for one day – details will be on our website. Thank you all!!!!!