2020 has been one of the most difficult and uncertain years that Centrepoint, and the young people we support, have ever had to face. Despite this, thanks to your commitment and generosity, we've adapted to continue supporting vulnerable young people. The pandemic is far from over, but we know that with you by our side, we will be able to overcome any challenges that may come in the future.
In 2019, over 23,000 young people were homeless or at risk of homelessness over Christmas. The Coronavirus pandemic meant that the figure for 2020 was set to be much higher as job loss, pay reductions and economic uncertainty affected young people's ability to access safe, affordable accommodation.
When we asked you for help, you responded with overwhelming generosity. Thanks to you, this year's Christmas Appeal raised an incredible £2 million, which will go far in helping thousands of homeless young people who are in desperate need of support throughout what may continue to be a very troubling time.
Thank you for sending over 1,000 messages of support for young people. Your thoughtful and inspiring words will mean so much to those who may be feeling especially lonely or hopeless over the next few months. Please click below to read a selection of the messages.
All the staff here are amazing. They have an open door policy and you can go and talk to them whenever you need to.- Jen, Centrepoint resident
During 2020, we saw a huge increase in calls to our Helpline due to COVID-19. Lockdown measures saw the closure of face-to-face services and made it even harder to sofa surf or stay with friends and family.
The initial lockdown saw a 50% increase in calls to the Helpline and September was the busiest month ever since its launch four years ago. 556 young people were supported through our phone, email and chat services.
Between January and November last year, the Helpline supported 5,572 vulnerable young people who had turned to Centrepoint in their time of need. Thank you so much for making this incredible work possible - it would have been disastrous for young people if we hadn't been able to answer those calls. We were only able to avoid that fate because of your support.
Many of the homeless young people we support are trying to study or develop their skills, but struggling through lack of funds. The Coronavirus pandemic continues to make it even harder for young people to accept opportunities they’ve worked so hard for.
Since the Bursary Fund began in 2009, the generosity of people like you has helped over 1,200 young people into employment, training or further education. A Bursary does more than simply pay for equipment, fees or transport – it shows the young person that their future is worth investing in.
This is year’s Bursary Appeal raised a phenomenal £377,000 which will go so far in helping homeless young people to achieve their dreams.
I was so excited to receive my Bursary, I called my key worker right away. I knew she’d be happy to hear that I got into university and everything worked out.– Juliet, Centrepoint resident
In March 2020, the Volunteering service had 61 volunteers active in front-line roles, working with accommodation services and other Centrepoint teams. Due to restrictions caused by the pandemic, recruitment activity closed roles fell rapidly.
We recruited a team of 13 COVID Responders to distribute PPE to services and food to young people facing hardship. By the end of September, we had recruited 80 volunteers completing 7,303 hours of support.
Over summer, we secured the support of The Ned hotel to provide daily hot meals to young people in our services. With the support of 12 biker volunteers from The Bike Shed, we delivered 5,478 meals, to the value of £63,000.
88% of the young people who left Centrepoint moved on positively.
80% of young people receiving support from Centrepoint’s Psychotherapy and Mental Health team reduced the severity of their symptoms.
63% of Centrepoint residents who took training courses in 2019/20 finished with a qualification.
Lack of social housing, high rent and upfront costs are key contributing factors to why so many young people struggle to live independently and can find themselves homeless. Centrepoint’s new Independent Living Programme aims to provide genuinely affordable housing for young people moving on from Centrepoint and partnering organisations.
The programme looks to deliver 300 new homes across London and Greater Manchester by the end of 2022, to enable young people to move into genuinely affordable accommodation and start living independently.