The Pillion Trust CrashPad is a cold weather shelter for young people that the Amy Winehouse Foundation has supported for two years now. With its main branch in Islington, the organisation also has smaller shelters in Camden, Brent and Bexley.
With 137 referrals throughout the winter of 2011/2012 alone, the shelter is attended by a broad spectrum of young people who are referred for a variety of reasons by social services, the police and youth organisations.
In winter 2011/2012 we funded £5100 to support the existing cold weather shelter. This money not only helped to keep the shelter open, but provided 137 young homeless people with a home for the winter, before they were supported to move on to temporary or permeanant accomodation. More recently, we funded a further £19,815 for the full staffing and volunteer costs of the Pilion Trust CrashPad between December 2012 and May 2013.
The Pillion Trust believe that young people do not need a hand out, but instead they need the skills to get them into employment and housing. The staff at CrashPad ensure that all young people who come to Pillion leave with life skills and a home to go to. When young people come to the shelter, they are put on rotas to clean, help in the kitchen and learn how to cook. They also help with shopping and learn how to budget. They also provide English and maths classes and extra curricular activities. The programme encourages young people to go out to work, college, volunteering or training during the day and engage with other young people like themselves in group meals and activities during the evenings.
This has proven successful with 65% of this years young people going into apprenternships college and employment upon leaving. All of these young people were also housed within various housing associations, local councils and employment companies. Some were also reconnected with their families and social services.
The Pillions Trust is doing great things. A recent exhibition last month in Brixton showcased their art work from the art workshops held at the shelter. Their football team will also be playing at the Homeless World Cup this year. Some of the young people also had the privilege of using Amy’s studio to work on their own music. I am sure Amy would have been proud.
Young people often become homeless through no fault of their own, but when they have the resources and support to make their lives better, they are on the road to success. There is no doubt that these young people are on their way to bigger and better things thanks to the Pilion Trust!
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