We launched our COVID Appeal in March 2020, just as lockdown measures were coming into force across the UK in response to the coronavirus pandemic. We knew then that coronavirus would present some significant challenges for our young people, as well as our member charities who support them first-hand.
`We now know, according to this BBC report, that it’s under 25’s who will be worst hit financially by the Covid crisis. They are the group most likely to suffer now and after the pandemic. They are the most at-risk of long-term disadvantage, of poor mental health and of losing their jobs.
That is why our member charities have been working incredibly hard despite the multitude of challenges they each face. Our front-line staff have shown an unbeatable commitment to supporting the most vulnerable, and they have continued to support our young people who would otherwise be left to survive COVID-19 alone.
Here we share with you the stories of some of the young people we have been able to support during the pandemic, thanks to those who have given generously to our urgent appeal.
When Jen’s personal circumstances changed for the worse, she and her baby daughter turned to sofa surfing, desperate for a safe place to live. Jen was due to move into a caravan park offered by a friend, but when COVID-19 hit the nation, the park shut down, leaving her with nowhere else to go.
“The stress was unbelievable and the uncertainty was horrible – especially because I also had my little girl to think of. I just felt so guilty that we had nowhere to go.”
Jen heard that EYH’s Rent Deposit Scheme, delivered in her local EYH charity, would be able to give her the support she needed.
“Once I found a property with the help of a support worker, it all moved really quickly. They helped me to sort all the paperwork and they were able to guarantee the rent deposit, which meant I was able to get the property.”
“I’m so happy – it’s another thing that’s off my back. The scheme has also helped me to buy things like furniture and bedding.”
Carrie and Alice's Story
It was just as the COVID-19 pandemic was sweeping across the country that sisters Alice and Carrie found themselves needing somewhere to live. They were in a vulnerable position and needed somewhere safe to go.
Things changed when the sisters were connected with their local EYH charity, The Benjamin Foundation. The charity had been offered rent-free use of private accommodation by a local landlord, who was keen for the accommodation to be put to good use during COVID-19.
Thanks to the generous supporters of the End Youth Homelessness COVID Appeal, we were able to ensure that the sisters were settled in safe accommodation during this unprecedented time.
“We couldn’t hold back our excitement and we started jumping up and down when we moved in!”
Once the restrictions of the pandemic begin to lift, Carrie and Alice will continue to receive dedicated support through the End Youth Homelessness Rent Deposit Scheme, which is funded by Yorkshire Building Society, and the twins are feeling positive about the future:
“It feels like there’s hope for us now. It’s like we are meant to be here and we are so grateful and really appreciate all the help we have had.”