Doncaster Housing For Young People

 A Doncaster-based charity, Doncaster Housing For Young People (DHYP) support young people aged 16-25 who are at risk of homelessness. Through their work, they help clients overcome disadvantaged backgrounds so they can fulfil their potential and have a brighter future.

With funding from the Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, Doncaster Housing For Young People have used funding to provide counselling and wellbeing activities, supporting 21 young people.

Offering a range of services (including housing advice, supporting lodgings service, counselling support to young people who are experiencing poor mental health) that are concerned with homelessness prevention, they understand that finding a place for someone to live is only part of the solution to preventing homelessness.

To support young people’s mental health and with funding from the Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund, over 140 counselling sessions were provided through the project, with clients bringing a wide range of issues that they wanted to talk about, including:

  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Self-harm
  • Bereavement
  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship breakdown
  • Rape and sexual abuse
  • Experience of, or witness to, domestic violence.
  • All clients were experiencing some form of anxiety.

The wellbeing activities were themselves an opportunity to talk and included wellbeing walks, going for coffee or something to eat. The majority of the funding paid for the salary of the project worker who ran the project, but they also involved volunteers, including a counselling student to increase our impact and reach.

One participant said:

“I really enjoyed going on our wellbeing activity. It was nice to do it with another young person in a similar situation.”

The origin of the funding (Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund) resonated strongly with both staff and clients. This led two clients to run a chocolate tombola stall at DHYP’s Summer Fayre, raising £50 in support of the project; a mantra of the project was “doing good does you good” and raising money in this way really helped boost the confidence and self-esteem of the young people involved.

Through the project, DHYP have tried to make lasting changes to how young people manage their mental health and pleasingly, clients are replicating some of the wellbeing activities, either on their own or with others.

One client said:

“I really enjoyed going on our wellbeing activity. It was nice to do it with another young person in a similar situation. I really loved the place we went to and associate it with good memories and a week later I walked there alone to clear my head. It was nice to do something different and gave me the chance to get some fresh air. I hope that me and the young person can learn from each other and help each other”.

Talking about the funding received from the Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund and the support from South Yorkshire Community Foundation, Doncaster Housing For Young People, said:

“We have felt a strong sense of responsibility to get the most from the funding and we believe we have successfully done that. We are grateful for the support we have received from SYCF and the understanding you have shown during the coronavirus pandemic. Community Foundations make such a difference to their communities and we appreciate the huge level of demand there is for what are very precious resources.”

You can find out more about the work of Doncaster Housing For Young People on their website