Building a Bright Future

After our recent announcement that we’re expanding Future Builders across the UK, we took some time to reflect on progress and hear some inspiring stories from our graduate and current Future Builders in Bristol and Norfolk.


9 April 2020

Developed and funded by OVO Foundation, Future Builders brings semi-derelict properties back into use as desirable, affordable and sustainable housing for young people who have experienced or are at risk of homelessness. Young people can help to refurbish and move into the homes, and are supported to access education, employment and training (EET) opportunities, achieve qualifications and gain professional experience before moving on to independent living.


Jake’s story

Jake participated in the Future Builders programme in Bristol. When the relationship with his family broke down he found himself between accommodation and unable to complete his A Levels. His local authority deemed him ineligible to move into supported housing but he was able to find support from 1625 Independent People (1625ip) – our Bristol-based charity partner.


Prior to joining the programme and moving into his Future Builders home, Jake completed Employability and Tenancy training. It was here that he discussed his goal to study Business at University. It wasn’t an easy road but, through support from 1625ip, Jake planned ways to overcome challenges and make positive changes which included budgeting and finding a mentor who had started their own business. The opportunity to talk and be listened to with no judgement and scrutiny proved extremely helpful for Jake. 


Alongside support to pursue his ambitions, Future Builders provided Jake with a stable and affordable home to live in. He felt more settled and was able to pass his exams, securing his place at university. Before he left Bristol, he spoke at one of 1625ip’s organisational conferences, inspiring everyone with his story and sharing how the Future Builders programme had allowed him to get where he wanted to be. 


Kurtis and Liam

Kurtis is 17 and from North Walsham in Norfolk, where Future Builders has recently expanded with The Benjamin Foundation – our Norwich-based charity partner. He is currently enrolled on the Future Builders programme and  has been splitting his time between renovating a home and studying at college. Kurtis really impressed those working with him by demonstrating a strong work ethic, powering through the tasks set for him with enthusiasm and dedication. 


Liam has been working alongside Kurtis and The Benjamin Foundation. Since joining the Future Builders scheme in Norfolk in November 2019, Liam has also played an important role in tasks around the house such as plastering, gardening and clearing old fixtures and fittings. He has spent two days a week on site helping with the renovation where he’s gained new skills and experience which Liam hopes will enable him to go on to get a job or apprenticeship in the future. 


Liam and Kurtis see Future Builders as an opportunity to get stuck into work and through their efforts the first of the two house renovations is starting to take shape. We’ll be keeping you posted on their progress.


You can hear more from the young people who have taken part in Future Builders here.

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