The Benjamin Foundation, a charity that supports young people and families across Norfolk and Suffolk to overcome big challenges in their lives, has received a social investment loan of £2.8 million from Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC).
The loan from SASC’s Social and Sustainable Housing fund (SASH) will enable The Benjamin Foundation to buy 10 properties in Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, expanding their successful Anchorage supported accommodation service.
Anchorage supports young adults between the ages of 18 and 30 in shared accommodation, and currently provides 25 units across six properties in Great Yarmouth with an additional 4 units in a property in Lowestoft. The SASH-funding will allow Anchorage to add another 35 units across the 10 properties, one of the properties The Benjamin Foundation is buying is an existing property currently leased from a private landlord, providing 5 units
The charity helps young adults with their tenancy, finding work and personal development to move them closer to independence. For people who are ready to move on from hostel accommodation, this could be the pathway to securing their own home.
The Benjamin Foundation was founded in 1994 by Richard and Vanessa Draper following the loss of their son, Benjamin, in a motorcycle accident, aged just 17. They are also a regional charity partner of End Youth Homelessness – a UK-wide network of charities joining forces to tackle youth homelessness.
The charity’s housing and homelessness services provide over 50,000 safe nights a year for local young people, as well as ancillary support services. The charity also delivers Childcare, Emotional Wellbeing Support, and Youth Support services.
Last year, leading youth homelessness charity, Centrepoint said youth homelessness in the UK has increased by an estimated two-fifths in five years, rising to more than 120,000[i].
Matt Garrod at The Benjamin Foundation said, “Young people may be homeless or at risk of homelessness through no fault of their own, often due to a breakdown in relationships at home, or circumstances which mean they are not safe at home. With us, they are able to build their confidence, self-esteem and resilience. They learn life skills such as cooking, cleaning and budgeting, as well as receive education and career guidance.
“We also support young people to overcome financial barriers that can come with accessing the private rental sector and support them to understand the responsibilities associated with managing a tenancy. This means they can leave our services with the best possible chance of leading happy, successful, independent lives, to keep them off the streets and prevent the homelessness problem growing.”
Ben Rick, Co-Founder and CEO of SASC said, “The Benjamin Foundation wants to end youth homelessness and is tackling the problem locally by providing a safe home and support for almost 200 vulnerable young adults every night. The charity is highly experienced in delivering housing and support services to an excellent standard across Norfolk and Suffolk and helping young people get back on their feet.
“There is much demand for the additional SASH-funded units and the charity has strong support from local commissioners across both counties. Anchorage’s successful move-on rate for young people, from supported transition to independent living is evidence of the positive impact this service is having.”
For more information on The Benjamin Foundation visit: www.benjaminfoundation.co.uk