We've put together some responses to the questions we're asked most often. It might be quicker for you to find a response to your query here rather than getting in touch directly.
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There is not one single root cause of youth homelessness. The majority of young people staying with Centrepoint became homeless because their relationship with their family broke down and they were forced to leave home. Family relationships can break down for lots of reasons, such as: domestic violence, substance misuse by a parent or young person, or family members being unable to accept a young person’s sexuality. You can find out more about family relationship breakdown by viewing our latest research here.
At least 150,000 young people approach local councils across the UK for help, because they are homeless or at risk of becoming so. This is a minimum estimate based on Freedom of Information responses from local councils analysed by researchers from Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank. You can read more about their work here.
Figures released by the government on the number of young people experiencing youth homelessness are far lower. This is because the government only record the number of young people who are statutory homelessness, those legally entitled to emergency housing support. Only certain groups of young people, such as under18s or those with dependent children can meet the criteria to be considered statutory homeless. This narrow definition means that many young people staying with Centrepoint are simply not included in the government’s official statistics.
Centrepoint isn’t a missing persons’ agency and it is highly unlikely that someone who has been reported missing would come to one of our services as we don’t offer temporary accommodation. All of the young people we work with have been referred to us by a local housing authority or social services. We would suggest that you contact your local council and the police.
We work with government and councils to provide this service to young people in housing crisis. The causes and impacts of homelessness are complex. However our services are about more than a room. We support young people with health needs, both physical and mental and also with education needs. We work with some of the most vulnerable young people and we want to empower them to secure a home and job and to positively move on. All councils are facing cuts and while we work with them to provide support, some of the most crucial elements for positive long term support, like counselling, simply wouldn’t be funded without donations. Last year donations from more than 50,000 supporters were the single biggest course of income and helped to ensure that 89% of young people move on successfully. Many of our supporters want to provide the support network homeless young people have been missing out on and ensure these young people have a fair chance of education and a secure home.
Currently we only deliver services directly in England. However we work with 54 partner organisations who support homeless young people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Centrepoint does only work directly with young people in England; however we do work and fund partner organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who operate the Centrepoint model in order to support young people in these areas.
We also work closely with our fellow members of End Youth Homelessness (EYH); this is a collaborative project with other UK homelessness charities. We have been working together to end youth homelessness since 2010. Each EYH charity works in its own way to meet the needs of local young people; all sharing a belief in giving homeless and at risk of homelessness young people the opportunity to turn their lives around, achieve their goals and move on to successful and independent lives.
Centrepoint is the designated Administrator of EYH.
Centrepoint is the UK’s leading charity for homeless young people. It supports over 9,000 16-25 year olds into housing and employment every year. We work directly in London, Yorkshire and the North East of England. Centrepoint also partners with other organisations across the UK and gives homeless young people a voice through the Centrepoint Parliament. The Parliament conducts research and influences government policy with the overall aim of ending youth homelessness.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge became patron of Centrepoint in 2005.
Centrepoint was established on 16 December 1969 by Reverend Ken Leech who was concerned about the number of young people sleeping rough in the West End of London. With the help of local volunteers, Rev Leech opened up the basement of St Anne’s Church in Soho as a one- night shelter. At the time Centrepoint had little more than £30 in the bank.
Centrepoint’s name was chosen because St Anne’s church was at the centre of the parish. After the name was agreed, one of the volunteers noted Centrepoint was also the name of the newly erected office block on the corner of Tottenham Court Road. The building remained empty for nearly 10 years while homeless young people were sleeping in the neighbourhood.
Centrepoint has since helped more than 116,000 homeless young people. The basement of St Anne’s church is still used today as the London base for the Centrepoint’s health and wellbeing work.
Now we do so much more than just offering young people a bed for the night. We support young people in getting healthy and staying healthy, to re-engage with education and training to acquire important life skills and getting into employment in order to support themselves to break free from homelessness for good.
We support homeless young people aged 16-25 who have been experiencing cultural displacement, family breakdown, the effects of mental illness, having young dependent children or having to deal with supporting themselves after coming out of prison or leaving care. Whatever their situation Centrepoint will support them regardless of race, ability, religion or gender.
Young people are referred to us by council services and many who come to us have experienced extreme housing need caused by issues such as family breakdown including abuse, mental and physical health problems, they could be care leavers or have a criminal history. We work with these young people to ensure they are supported with health requirements and education with a long term view to securing a job and a home. As part of health we work with them on healthy relationships and where possible will encourage working with their families to rebuild relationships. However it’s done on a case by case basis as the young people referred to us are in extreme housing need.
Young people who access Centrepoint’s accommodation services pay rent. The accommodation they stay in has a cost attached to support the ongoing maintenance of the building. We remind young people who are paying rent, that it is a priority.
When a young person signs a Tenancy Agreement they agree to pay rent and other charges weekly in advance. It is therefore very important that young people do not get behind with their payments.
Research from Centrepoint has identified the personal debt of young people as a major barrier to their ability to live independently.
Thank you for your kind offer. This is what we would refer to as ‘supported lodgings’ but this isn’t something that we currently deliver. However we do endorse this type of provision as it can be very effective in meeting the needs of young people. If this is something you’re considering, please contact your local council to find out more about supported lodgings in your area.
This is dependent on the young person’s needs and the Centrepoint accommodation they are staying in. When we begin working with a young person, they are assessed and placed in the most suitable service for us to best support their needs. Some young people may only stay for a number of weeks whereas others will go right the way through to independent housing moving on from supported accommodation in our services.
We typically work with young people for around 2 years. However accommodation issues can be caused by a myriad of complex issues such as family breakdown or abuse and in turn this can impact their physical and mental health as well as access to education. We want to ensure we address their individual needs so that they are ready and able to live independently.
Homelessness is a complex issue. Many of the young people who are referred to us by social services and local councils are not begging on the streets, but are trapped sleeping on night buses, at rail stations and perhaps most dangerously on a complete stranger’s sofa. These are the ‘hidden homeless’ who continually put themselves in danger because they have no other option. Further to this, Centrepoint also act as ‘corporate parents’ to children who are officially looked after by the state or care leavers and are in desperate need of stability and support. At Centrepoint we focus on addressing the root cause of an individual’s homelessness, we then give them the support they need to learn new skills. Once they have gained enough experience and their key worker feels they are ready we support them to move on into a stable career and their own home. A stable job with prospects and a safe home of their own is what Centrepoint guides young people towards from day one, moving always at the right pace for the young person.
Centrepoint supports young people on an individual basis so that they get the support they need to move on into a brighter future. This begins with warm, safe accommodation and from there we can provide; one-to-one counselling with a key worker, access to education and professional training opportunities, such as apprenticeships and courses. We also feel it’s important for young people to learn hands on life skills like budgeting, cooking nutritious meals and looking after their own home. The aim of everything we do in supporting young people is to see them become independent with their own stable accommodation with a fulfilling career ahead of them.
Centrepoint run 53 accommodation based services across London, the north east of England and Yorkshire.
Centrepoint work directly with homeless young people in London, Yorkshire and the North East of England. We also work with 52 partner organisations who support homeless young people across the UK.
From every £1 Centrepoint supporters donate, 76p goes straight to supporting young homeless people in our hostels, 1p goes towards Governance whilst the remaining 23p goes towards raising the next £1.
Centrepoint does not try to compete with salaries in the private sector. However, we must still attract the most talented, experienced professionals to ensure the homeless young people we work with each year receive the support they need to turn their lives around.
There are at least 150,000 young people in the UK who are at risk of or experience homelessness each year and that number is increasing, even as Government resources to tackle the problem are diminishing.
Centrepoint is a £27m-turnover charity supporting over Chief Executive and executive team’s work is demanding and comes with huge responsibility and their salaries reflect this.
However, those salaries are similar to or less than equivalent roles in the charitable and public sectors. Safeguarding vulnerable young people and their futures requires professionalism and expertise. Centrepoint’s senior team is smaller than those at other charities requiring the people in each role to possess a broader range of skills and experience.
This is also published on the Charity Commission website. Seven of our executives receive a salary of over £60,000, including our Chief Executive whose salary is over £130,000. We are not able to disclose the salaries of individual members of staff due to the Data Protection Act.
Our charity number is 292411.
Centrepoint was founded in central London in 1969 and although we now operate in several cities across the UK we still support many of the capital’s most vulnerable young people. Having our head office based in London is important, because it allows us to have direct access to our public affairs work in Westminster and puts us close to all of the country’s major media outlets.
Working with other agencies is a really important part of the support we provide for young people, particularly in addressing physical and mental health issues, and with providing education, training and employment opportunities. This includes working alongside other charities, health services, employers and local government.
We regularly work with other homelessness charities to influence government policy affecting homelessness young people, such as youth unemployment, a lack of affordable housing and much more.
We also conduct research in partnership with other charities, as we did when we commissioned research in 2015 into the impact of young people of the Conservative’s proposal to cut housing benefit for young people.
Centrepoint partnering is a national network of more than 50 organisations who work together in supporting homeless young people. We train staff from our partners to deliver Centrepoint support programmes, provide advice on fundraising and share good practice. By conducting research with our partners we gain a deeper understanding of new and emerging issues affecting homeless young people across the length and breadth of the country. Collectively we have a stronger national policy voice with which to advise government and improve the situations that homeless young people face.
We also fundraise with other homelessness organisations. Our End Youth Homelessness movement has brought on board some of the UK’s most recognisable companies in support of the cause and means 1000s of people participate across the country in our Sleep Out event every year.
The alternative to referrals is known as direct service access, where a person can walk in off the street and get a bed for the night. These types of service have steadily ceased to exist and stopped completely around 10-15 years ago. Centrepoint, along with other homelessness charities, have relied on referrals from local authorities, local voluntary and statutory services for the best part of 20 years. This is not something within our control; it is a result of the changing social, political and economic context surrounding homelessness and access to housing. Furthermore, it’s vital we co-ordinate effectively with services such as local councils, the police and the NHS in order to ensure young people are supported on their pathway to a secure future.
We regularly receive direct enquiries from young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and we support them with getting a referral into our services if they are eligible, or into other services where we are unable to assist.
You can become a Room Sponsor or set up a regular gift via our website here. You can also contact our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 to set this up over the phone.
You can also set up a direct debit by printing and completing the paper form here and posting this to us at Centrepoint, 25 Camperdown Street, London, E1 8DZ.
You can make a one off donation via our website here. Or you can call our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 to make a donation over the phone.
It is possible to set up a Standing Order, but where possible we do ask supporters if they would be happy to set up a Direct Debit as they are more cost effective for us. However, if you would still like to set a Standing Order, please contact our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing email@example.com and they will provide you with the necessary details in order for you to set this up with your bank.
You can make a donation on behalf of someone else. You can also make a donation in memory of someone. Please contact our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and they will provide you with the necessary details.
25 Camperdown Street
Room Sponsorship is a great way to support young homeless people by sponsoring a safe space to call their own, and a base from which they can begin to shape their futures. Room Sponsors support with a minimum gift of just £12 per month. The money donated by each of our room sponsors help to fund the support and services young people who are staying in a sponsored room need to access if they are going to gain independence and get into a job and a home.
The true cost of providing a room and supporting a young person out of homelessness is more than £12 a month which is why we need a community of valued supporters to help us change the lives of the all young people we support. We ask for £12 a month as we feel that this is an amount sponsors might be able to afford and an amount that will really make a difference to Centrepoint and really make a difference to the young people we support.
If you would like to amend your direct debit details, such as the amount, collection date or change the bank account, please contact our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing email@example.com with any changes you would like to make.
We completely understand that it is not always possible to maintain ongoing support; however we are grateful for all the support you have been able to give towards homeless young people.
If you would like to cancel your Direct Debit or discuss other ways of supporting young people, please contact our friendly Supporter Care team by calling 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also notify your bank of the cancellation, but we are always very happy to hear from you.
By sponsoring a room you’ll be supporting young people facing acute housing crisis. Rooms at Centrepoint are about more than a bed for the night. They offer young people a haven from where they can go on to gain access to basic skills, vital physical and health support, including counselling, and access to higher education. Your sponsorship will support all of this work and donations will be spent where needed to ensure that young people can secure a job, a home and a future.
Because we work with all young people as long as they are 16-25 years old and meet certain other criteria, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, gender or ability. Based on these principles we are not able to allow supporters to choose who their support benefits.
The majority of the pictures of young people that Centrepoint use to convey awareness about homelessness are not Centrepoint young people. This is because, understandably, many young homeless people do not want to be the face of homelessness when they are trying so hard to move on with their lives. However, every story of a young person’s journey we share with you is 100% true.
Centrepoint’s work is vital in preventing youth homelessness, which is why we truly appreciate every penny that our supporters pledge to support young homeless people in our dedicated services.
As a regular supporter you are already an integral part of the work we do. However, youth homelessness is an enormous problem with very little dedicated support or standardised preventive measures in place. Homelessness has risen by a third since 2010 and we are continuing to face cuts in statutory funding. Therefore voluntary donations from supporters like you are becoming even more important in ensuring the young people we work with can leave homelessness behind for good. All of our appeals to loyal supporters like you raise donations that support our services across housing, education and health. However we want to ensure you get communications tailored to your preference so please do speak to our Supporter Care team if you would like to receive less.
We telephone fundraise because it is one of the most cost effective and successful ways of raising support for Centrepoint’s vital work. The more support we raise, the more young homeless people we can help move past the traumas of homelessness. Speaking to our supporters also lets us find out what they care about and respond quickly.
As an ethical charity we make sure that we refer in all telephone based fundraising campaigns to the Information Commissioner’s Office for data protection guidelines. We also ensure we check the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) on all numbers and we are looking to improve our data capture and processes so it’s clear what supporters are opting in to and they can manage their data as they see appropriate. We genuinely care about our wonderful supporters so we make a point of regularly asking supporters their preferred method of communication. If you ever wish to amend your communication preferences please contact our friendly Supporter Care team and they will be happy to help on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing email@example.com
We advertise Centrepoint’s work for so many different reasons.
Put simply we want to end youth homelessness. In order to do that we need to ensure we reach and gain the support of as many people as possible from all walks of life. This will ensure that we can continue to fund vital services and work in innovative ways to ensure that young people are empowered to gain skills, a job and an affordable home. We can also ensure that we influence factors that impact young people in housing crisis. The more awareness we raise the more likely measures will be put in place to better protect young homeless people and make sure they don’t slip through the cracks in local services. Another big reason we advertise is to let young people know we are there for them and that they do not have to struggle in silence. Finally it’s important to us to ensure that the authentic voice and experience of the young people we work with is communicated so that people can really engage with youth homelessness, and advertising is a crucial way to do this.
All data selection for telemarketing needs to be checked against the Telephone Preference Service and cannot be called if they are listed. However, if a supporter is listed of TPS but we have a telephone opt-in on their record they can be called as they have opted in to being called by us specially.
If the fundraising is on an individual bases, ie you are contacting a supporter in a personal capacity only TPS only the TPS register needs to be checked. However, if you we are contacting employees of companies to seek donations from their employers then you will need to screen against the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS).
We fundraise in this way because it is economical and many people enjoy this convenient and informal way of hearing about a matter that is important to so many of us.
At Centrepoint we aware that when fundraisers are not trained properly they can end up coming across as aggressive. At Centrepoint we take care to properly and regularly train our fundraisers to make sure they uphold the high ethical standards of Centrepoint.
We never know whether the next person a fundraiser speaks to will or won’t want to talk, but in order for us to grow and continue supporting homeless young people, we have to be proactive in gaining new supporters. We make sure each of our fundraisers is trained to adhere to the regulations that govern this activity, set out by the Fundraising Regulator.
We work very closely with the young people we support in our services and we will of course send you regular updates on their behalf about their progress, interviews with them and share their successes. However, we do not encourage direct communication with young people as it makes it harder to safe guard them. You will receive updates from service managers and case workers who can explain the impact of your support.
We love seeing supporters interested in looking around our services and seeing for themselves what their support has accomplished. Our services are based in Sunderland, Bradford and London and it is important to note that they are not generally open to the public. This is because our primary responsibility is to protect the young people we work with. However, we do run an annual Supporter Event where you can hear from our young people and staff who can share the impact of your support with you. Please get in touch with our Supporter Care team to find out when the next event will take place and to register your interest.
We really appreciate all the efforts of our exceptional volunteers. We have, at any given time, around 600 volunteers supporting our work with homeless young people. Our volunteers help with everything from projects in head office to events, to working directly with young people and housing officers in Centrepoint services.
All of our volunteer placements are skill-specific. If you are interested in volunteering please take a look at the volunteering page of our website and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We’d love for you to volunteer with us and it depends on what you would like to do. You could do a shift at one of our challenge fundraising events, such as the London Marathon, Sleep Out or the British 10K with duties such as cheering, stewarding and manning the reception. For more information, please contact our Events team by emailing email@example.com When it comes to working with our young people, volunteering for one day is not an option for a number of reasons. Safeguarding young people is our first priority, which means we need to conduct interviews, DBS check, reference check and train anyone who will be entering our services as a volunteer. There is a minimum 3 month commitment we have put in place for all voluntary roles. This reflects the amount of time, resource and energy we put in to finding, training, inducting and supporting volunteers.
Due to the way we work at Centrepoint, supporting young people with accommodation and various other support networks, we don’t have any particular volunteering opportunities around Christmas. Our volunteering opportunities are generally more long-term, with a minimum commitment of 3 months, and are tailored to suit the particular needs of the young people we support. As such they are often changing and cover a variety of roles. You can keep up to date with our current opportunities on our website here. If you specifically wish to help the homeless at Christmas, we would recommend contacting your local soup kitchen/emergency shelter.
Please contact our Corporate Partnerships team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and someone from the team will be happy to discuss this with you further.
If you are a company and would like to talk more about job opportunities for Centrepoint young people please email our Corporate Team email@example.com
If you are worried about your own situation or someone you know who is homeless, please visit the Get Help Now section of our website.
We would love for you to fundraise for us as part of a challenge event - thank you! Please visit our website to find out how you can get started here.
Thank you for choosing to fundraise for Centrepoint. How you choose to do this is up to you, but we can provide tips and materials to help your efforts. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can support you.
Centrepoint are extremely grateful for all donated goods. However, as we have very limited storage space, the donated items we can accept very much depend on what is needed by Centrepoint services at the time. Please note that our Centrepoint services are in Northern England and London and we may need to ask you to travel a reasonable distance to drop off the goods you would like to donate to your nearest service. For any questions regarding donating goods to one of our services please contact us by email at email@example.com or give us a call on 0207 423 6871 for more information.
The good news is you can still make a massive difference to Centrepoint’s work by donating goods, even if you live too far away to drop it off. Simply visit the Centrepoint eBay page go to ‘Sell An Item’ log in to your eBay account and sell your goods to benefit Centrepoint‘s vital work. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 0207 423 6871 for more information.
Thank you for your interest in Sleep Out. Before deciding to hold your own event it’s worth seeing if one is being organised in your area please visit www.sleep-out.org.uk for more information. If you are still interested in holding your own event, we have guidance packs available for schools and universities. Please email email@example.com for more information.
Centrepoint works in so many ways to make sure young homeless people get the support they need. One of the best ways to support all of Centrepoint’s work is to set up regular or one-off support either by calling the Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by visiting the donate page of our website here. You can also help to support young homeless people by volunteering at one of our events please visit the volunteering page of our website here for more information.
Thank you for your interest in fundraising for Centrepoint. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for a fundraising pack and other materials.
Centrepoint will endeavour to respond to all enquiries. However, it may not be possible to assist with every request. We welcome the involvement and input of local stakeholders and seek to assist in any project that seeks to examine and find solutions to youth homelessness.
At Centrepoint we like to share the ways our supporters choose to help or raise awareness in our bi-annual newsletters, and also where possible on social media.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will be able to share your song at this time. This is because we receive many requests to share songs, films and documentaries about homelessness, and we must put all of our limited resources into projects that will reach the widest possible national audience.
Thank you for thinking of us and the young people we work with. We’re unable to accept perishable food items, but if you have canned or dried foods that you would like to donate and you’re able to drop these off or have them delivered to one of our services, please contact our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing email@example.com for more information on how you can go about this.
We are so grateful to everyone at Christmas time who wishes to provide a Christmas present to a young person. We would advise against sending individual presents as it is hard to decide who should receive it. If you wish to do something special for a young person then please consider making a one-off gift via our website, sending in a high street voucher or buying a virtual gift. Virtual gifts will enable us to provide specific items a young homeless person might need. You can also buy virtual gifts on behalf of friends and family! Please visit the gifts page of our website here for more information.
Gift Aid is a great of increasing the value of your donation to Centrepoint, but it no extra cost to you! if you are a UK tax payer, we can reclaim the basic rate tax (25%) on your gift. So if you donate £100 and you Gift Aid that donation it will be worth £125 to Centrepoint.
In order for Centrepoint to reclaim the tax you have paid on your donations, you must have paid income tax or capital gains tax (in the UK) for each tax year, 6 April to 5 April, which is at least equal to the tax that all charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs will reclaim on your donations. Other taxes such as VAT and Council Tax do not qualify.
It only means that Centrepoint will gain an extra 25% from the government on any donations you choose to make. This can be cancelled at any time.
A Gift Aid declaration is a statement by an individual taxpayer that they want a charity or Community Amateur Sports Clubs to claim back the tax you’ve paid from the government.
A Gift Aid declaration covers all present, future and past donations you have made or wish to make to Centrepoint. We can claim back four years’ worth of donations and will continue to claim until you tell us otherwise. When you become ineligible for Gift Aid you must let us know so we can cease claiming.
If you need to let us know that you have stopped paying tax or you wish to cancel your declaration, please contact our friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will be happy to amend your details.
To be Gift Aid compliant we need to have the first name or initials, last name, full home address and postcode of each individual who has donated to the collection. If you’re fundraising we would encourage you to remind your supporters to tick the Gift Aid on your fundraising page or if you’re collecting money off line we can provide you with Gift Aid envelopes. Please contact friendly Supporter Care team on 0800 23 23 20 or by emailing email@example.com and one of the team will be happy to help you with this.