Brighton Magazine

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Thursday 15 December 2016

Urgent Winter Appeal: Help Give A Homeless Brighton Young Person A Better Future

It's chilly outside, temperatures are dropping, daylight hours are short and for many of us thoughts now turn towards preparing for Christmas festivities, involving family, friends or loved ones.

However, for many people in Brighton this time of year is particularly desperate and bleak. 

If you live or work in Brighton and Hove, it will come as no surprise that the number of people sleeping on the streets is increasing. 

Homelessness in the city has more than doubled since 2011 and the area is now has the third largest homeless population in the UK. 

For those sleeping rough or insecurely housed, worries are not on what gifts to buy or receive this December but where they will sleep tonight, how much the temperatures will drop and whether they will be safe. 

The stark reality is that those sleeping rough in our community this winter are 13 times more likely to be a victim of violence than the general public. 

Homelessness is a particular issue with young people who are at particular risk of exploitation and often have very poor support networks and may be estranged from their family.  

Family breakdown is the biggest single cause of homelessness amongst young people and this can be particularly difficult for young people to deal with in the run up to Christmas. 

The Clock Tower Sanctuary – Will"s Story

The Clock Tower Sanctuary is a local charity which supports homeless 16 – 25 year olds throughout the year but sees a spike in demand during the winter months.  

It is Brighton's only drop-in service providing a welcoming and safe space for young people and it does all it can to help prevent young people from a life on the streets. 

They do this by providing access to a hot meal, clothing, showers, a postal service, advice and support. 

Here young people can get the support they so desperately need for a chance to have a brighter, happier future.

Often local residents see people on the streets but are unsure of how they can help address this growing problem. 

The Clock Tower Sanctuary is asking for your help this Christmas by donating to its Urgent Winter Appeal, which aims to raise £15,000 to help support homeless young people over the winter.

Kate Kirkham, CEO at The Clock Tower Sanctuary, said; "There is a need for our service throughout the year, with winter being a particularly crucial time. 

"This winter alone, we will support over a 1,000 visits from homeless young people. 

"As a small, local charity with no statutory income, we need all the help we can get and we"re so grateful to Brighton and Hove residents for their continued support of our work."

The Sanctuary has helped hundreds of young people. One such story is Will, a young man who has now got his life back on track after a sudden descent into homelessness.

Will, now aged 26 said, "I never thought I would experience being homeless, but it can happen to anyone. It"s a frightening, downward spiral that can just suck you up. I worked with The Clock Tower Sanctuary's volunteers and staff, making sure I was doing everything I could to get things sorted. 

"They would go to appointments with me, speak to other agencies on my behalf and were there to talk to when I was feeling down. 

"Looking back on my experience of being homeless in Brighton, without The Clock Tower Sanctuary I wouldn't be in the position I am now. I've got my own place, working full time with a building company."

To find out more about Will's story and how your money could help, please go towww.thects.org.uk to watch his video.

For full details of how you can donate to the Urgent Winter Appeal and for fundraising ideas, go to www.thects.org.uk

by: Mike Cobley




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