From training and employment to affordable accommodation

OVO Foundation extends support for youth homelessness work to West Midlands


10 January 2019

  • OVO Foundation’s youth homelessness work expands as it supports St Basils’ Live and Work scheme in West Midlands.
  • Youth homelessness is a growing problem in the UK with over 103,000 young people a year asking local authorities for help.
  • OVO Foundation continues to fund the Future Builders scheme in Bristol and Sheffield, as it looks for alternative ways to support young people.

West Midlands, 09 January 2019 – OVO Foundation announces additional funding to tackle youth homelessness through supporting West Midlands based charity St Basils’ Live and Work Scheme.

Building on the OVO Foundation’s core mission to help smart charitable organisations tackle complex social problems like youth homelessness, the additional funding helps young people who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness, remain in work.

St Basils’ Live and Work Scheme was launched in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust in 2016 and provides affordable accommodation for young people either completing an NHS apprenticeship or in employment. The scheme takes an innovative approach to help tackle youth homelessness by giving young people the opportunity to live in truly affordable properties, whilst also providing apprenticeship or employment opportunities. In 2017, a review of the project found it generated £14 of social value for every £1 invested into the scheme, demonstrating its positive impact.

The Live and Work Scheme provides accommodation for 32 young people. Funding from OVO Foundation will ensure that the costs of the project remain affordable for young people in apprenticeships and entry level employment as they start to transition to independent living.

Recent statistics show that youth homelessness is a growing problem in the UK, which is why the OVO Foundation has focused on tackling youth poverty and homelessness since it was set up in 2015. From January-March 2018 over 808k 16-24 year olds were not in employment, education or training and over 215k were not getting the help they needed.

Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, commented:
“We are excited to be funding St Basils’ Live and Work Scheme in West Midlands following the success of our similar schemes that tackle youth homelessness in Bristol and Sheffield. One of OVO Foundation’s aim is to reduce youth poverty by increasing young people’s opportunities for long-term employment and affordable housing in the UK, and so it’s great that we’re contributing to the St Basils’ scheme in the West Midlands and supporting more young people across the country. We originally set out to find inspiring organisations that have simple solutions to complex social issues which is why St Basils is the perfect partner for us to be working with next. ”

OVO Foundation continues to fund its Future Builders schemes in Bristol and Sheffield. Through this scheme, young people renovate houses that they go on to live in. Since the beginning of the scheme in 2016, over 9 young people who completed the programme are now employed, in an apprenticeship or enrolled in further training. The delivery model for Future Builders adopts the same principle as Live and Work – affordable housing for young people who have experienced homelessness combined with opportunities for employment or further training.

Jean Templeton, Chief Executive, St Basils commented:
“The support we are receiving from OVO Foundation is invaluable to us. This will help complement the many partnerships that it takes to make a project like this work by ensuring that the project is affordable and viable for the residents who live there. We are extremely excited by the values of the foundation and we are delighted they have chosen to support our work. ”

OVO Foundation has two case studies and imagery from the Future Builders programme which it can provide as part of the media pack.

For more information:
OVO Foundation:

End Youth Homelessness:
E. / 020 7243 6865

St Basils:
E: / 0121 772 9614

About OVO Foundation
OVO Foundation is OVO’s charity. It was created in 2014 to expand OVO’s charitable giving and bring caring closer to home. We help smart charitable organisations tackle three of the most complex social problems of our time: youth homelessness, educational inequality, and access to energy. At the heart of it all is our mission to give young people a better future. We’re not after short-term fixes. It’s all about long-term change. And we don’t just give money. Our Foundation team commits months of research to seeking out and developing innovative projects that will make the biggest impact. Over 85,000 OVO Energy customers choose to donate to OVO Foundation each month by adding at least 25p to their monthly statement. OVO matches all customer donations, and also covers OVO Foundation’s overheads so 100% of donations go directly to the projects.

About End Youth Homelessness
End Youth Homelessness (EYH) is a national movement to end youth homelessness in the UK. EYH charities work with over 30,000 young people who are amongst the most deprived in the UK.

EYH brings together local charities to tackle youth homelessness on a national scale. Each EYH charity works in its own way to meet the needs of local young people; all sharing a belief in giving homeless young people the opportunity to turn their lives around; build high aspirations and move on to successful and independent lives.

The charities supported through End Youth Homelessness are: 1625 Independent People (Bristol), Aberdeen Foyer (Aberdeen), The Amber Foundation (Surrey, Wiltshire, and Devon), St. Basils (West Midlands), The Benjamin Foundation (Norfolk), Centrepoint (Barnsley, Bradford, London, Manchester, and Sunderland), Llamau (Wales), MACS (Northern Ireland), The Rock Trust (Edinburgh), and Roundabout (Sheffield), Step by Step (South of England).

About St Basils

St Basils works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping over 4000 young people per year across the West Midlands region with specific services in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Worcestershire, the Wyre Forest and Coventry. At any one time we have over 400 young people living in our 29 supported accommodation schemes, which for some young people includes their young children as well. We have a range of prevention, accommodation and support services to help young people regain the stability they need to rebuild their lives, gain skills, training and employment and move on. The aim is to help them successfully break the cycle of homelessness, as our shared hope is that the next generation will be free from this blight on young lives and instead will go on to develop and thrive and experience a bright, fulfilling future.

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