Youth Hardship Fund | We need your help!
Youth Hardship Fund
The Youth Hardship Fund managed by the Zone continues to help young people in times of crisis. We want to continue to be able to support this fund and we need your help, either with financial support or with items for the Box Scheme and the Rucksacks of Relief.
Read on to see what a difference it has made to young people in Plymouth.
Last year the fund continued to provide much needed financial support and assistance to young people and in total 291 grants, equating to £5,287.72, were distributed.
On average 24 grants were issued per month with the total amount approximately £440; however this number ranged from 15 grants during January totaling £416.10 to 30 grants totally £680.20 in March. The amount provided per grant has varied from £1.50 to £200, with 68% of grants under £20; 30% of grants between £20 and £75 and 2% of grants over £75.
In terms of young people, the majority of grants were provided to young men 178 grants (61%) in comparison with 113 grants (39%) being provided to young women.
During Year 3 we have been able to provide 31 young people with a Box, which has equated to £302.99. During the year the profile of the Box Scheme was raised by the Plymouth Drake Foundation and this resulted in a number of donations of goods from individuals as well as larger organisations including Morrisons.
Rucksack of Relief
As a large number of young people who present at The Zone are homeless and sleeping rough, following discussion with the Plymouth Drake Foundation, we felt that being able to provide young people with a ‘rucksack of relief’ could be more practical and beneficial for some young people.
Each rucksack contains a number of essential items needed when sleeping rough, such as a thermal blanket, waterproof poncho, gloves and hat, underwear as well as personal hygiene products including a tooth brush, tooth paste and wet wipes. The rucksack also contains an information leaflet which details where a young person can access support whilst sleeping rough, such as the soup run.
During October we asked staff for donations and purchased goods, totaling £156.41, which enabled us to make a total of 20 rucksacks. These rucksacks are now ready and available for young people who will be sleeping rough.
Young people have said the following about the Youth Hardship Fund:
Male aged 20 who received £150 - ‘It helped me massively as it got me into accommodation and took away the risk off me being on the streets... it was massively helpful and I don’t know what I’d have done without it’.
Female aged 25 who received £20 - ‘Really helped me at a time when I didn't have anywhere else to go. The person I saw was really nice and didn't make me feel bad for needing support.’