Kicking off the EYH charity Q&A's, we've got Ruth Gage from Roundabout...
Who are you and what is your role?
My name is Ruth Gage and I am the Fundraising and Communications Manager at Roundabout.
How long have you worked for Roundabout?
About 8 months.
What does Roundabout do and where do you operate?
Roundabout is Sheffield's local youth housing charity, providing shelter, support and life skills to over 150 young people in Sheffield everyday who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
We provide emergency accommodation at our hostel for homeless 16-21 year olds in Sheffield, a range of medium term accommodation in safe bedsits and in shared housing throughout the city and we support young people to live independently in their own accommodation, who might otherwise struggle to do so – putting them at risk of homelessness. In each of these services we encourage and provide comprehensive programmes of training, involvement and empowerment which break the cycle of homelessness and develop long term independent living skills.
Prevention is important to Roundabout, so in June 2014 we opened our Homeless Prevention Service which offers family mediation and advice for young people at risk of becoming homeless. Our ‘Peer Education’ project trains young people who have experienced homelessness to go into schools to increase awareness and understanding. It positively impacts on pupils, prevents youth homelessness and empowers the peer educators, who become more confident.
What is the best thing about your job?
I love knowing that the money I help to raise goes directly to support homeless young people in Sheffield and gives them a chance to change their lives. I also really enjoy seeing our supporters getting involved in fundraising activities and knowing their sponsorship or donation will make a huge difference to the work we can do with some of Sheffield’s most vulnerable young people.
How does being part of EYH benefit you and your organisation?
The EYH partnership brings us fundraising partners together - which we probably otherwise wouldn’t be a part of. It spreads the word of what we’re all doing further. As many of us are small charities, it’s great to have the support of other small fundraising teams who all have the same ultimate goal.