Duke of Cambridge urges public to save young lives by supporting Centrepoint's Young & Homeless Helpline
25,000 young people are facing homelessness this Christmas. Centrepoint is partnering with The Evening Standard and The Independent to raise awareness and funds and launch the Centrepoint Young & Homeless Helpline – a vital service for young people at risk.
On the first day of the campaign, Centrepoint's Patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge used the front page of The Evening Standard to make a plea to readers that by donating, they could save young lives.
He said: 'Ending youth homelessness is not just about putting a roof over someone’s head. It’s about teaching a young person to read and write. It’s about helping them to live with the consequences of abuse and neglect. It’s about stopping people becoming homeless in the first place.'
The Centrepoint Helpline will help young people at any stage of their journey deal with the problems that lead to homelessness, such as family breakdown, and will help young people facing homelessness find somewhere to stay.
Figures from our Youth Homelessness Databank reveal that 150,000 young people in the UK have approached their local authority for help with housing. Up to one in three are sent away without support.
Making advice available to young people quickly after their problems begin can have a huge impact. Not only does it make the experience less damaging for the individual, their support is less costly to the public purse.
Centrepoint hostel manager Freda Dyson said: 'I breathed a sigh of relief when I discovered Centrepoint was going to develop the helpline. It hasn’t come a moment too soon. It will be an absolute lifeline for young people.'
Nick Connolly, Centrepoint’s Head of Corporate Development, said: 'The success of this campaign could be the difference between thousands of young people sleeping rough or finding warm, safe place to stay.
'When it launches, the Centrepoint Helpline will be the first single advice service for young people in facing or experiencing homelessness.
'But raising money will not be the only legacy of this campaign. The issue will receive an unprecedented amount of coverage over the coming months and we will seize this fantastic opportunity to reframe the conversation around youth homelessness, an issue that is not well understood by the public at large.'