Registered charity number: 1160989
In May of this year, The Fine & Country Foundation donated over £26,000 in grants to charitable organisations across the world, helping them in their fight against homelessness and poverty.
One of those recipients - nominated by Fine & Country York - was SASH, awarded £1,000 in this round of donations. Working across York, North and East Yorkshire, they support young people aged between 16 and 25 to end the cycle of unemployment and benefit dependence, ultimately escaping homelessness for good.
Since receiving their grant, SASH have kept The Foundation updated on how they have adapted during the pandemic and how funding has helped.
“Thank you for the part you have played in helping us to adapt by making a grant of £1,000. We could not have done it without you”
“The world has changed in the past months. We have made sure that SASH has changed with it.
Very early on, we knew that young people would still need SASH at a time of crisis. We had a very important role to play in keeping young people safe and off the streets. Working with our hosts and partners, we prepared the way forward. As staff moved to homeworking, we contacted all the volunteer hosts. Whilst most Supported Lodging hosts were happy to continue in their role, some, because of their vulnerabilities and need to shield, stepped back. Thankfully, we were able to move their young people to new hosts.
Throughout the past months, we have continued to place young people who cannot return home or do not have the skills to live independently with Supported Lodgings Hosts.
Zoe moved in with her host in May. Prior to lockdown Zoe had been referred to SASH but she was unsure whether our model or support was for her. She didn’t take up the place and she was placed in Stay City hotel by City of York Council after becoming homeless. She was struggling and not getting much support. Still unsure about SASH, potential hosts did some video calls with her, with no pressure, and she moved in.
Zoe has settled in well, she arrived with just a small bag and her bike, but thanks to grants, she was able to buy essentials including underwear and shoes. Within a few days she had already committed to returning to college in September. She is thriving; spending time doing embroidery, visiting friends, and becoming happier. She recently celebrated her 18th birthday with her hosts – her smile says it all.
Lockdown has meant our normal support programmes have changed. SASH support workers usually meet face-to-face with the young people, where activities and workshops are held, as well as social outings. Instead we have focussed on virtual and online support. The funding which we have accessed is enabling young people to get online – including laptops, data for phones, headphones, and tablets.
Many SASH lodgers have taken advantage of the slower pace of life and the availability of their hosts to expand their cooking skills, learn new skills and join in their host family’s activities, such as watching films together and taking part in quizzes.
Kitchens across our Supported Lodgings and Nightstop Hosts have become hives of activity. Cooking and even gardening have helped young people fill their time. Seven young people in the Scarborough area took part in a weekly online cook-along with their hosts. Others have taken on the role of Cook for their host.
“I am cooking with my Host nearly every night since lockdown and I find it really fun and helpful. I enjoy learning new recipes and my host is going to help me with a food budget plan too.”
- Emily, in Supported Lodgings through SASH
Over the following months, SASH will continue to pivot our support in line with Government guidelines. In particular, we are developing new employability workshops in recognition of the impact that COVID-19 has on young people’s employability and the availability of work.
We could not have done this without you. It is thanks to you that Zoe, and many more like her, have the support they need now and will need in the future.”
To find out more about the charities which are supported through The Fine & Country Foundation Spring Grant Programme, and the other work we do, please visit www.fineandcountryfoundation.com
Registered charity number: 1160989