In March of this year (2018), the Birmingham Mail published an interview with Tracey Patterson of Birmingham’s Homeless Support Team (BHST). Tracey observed that 2018 has been ‘the worse year yet’ in terms of rough sleeping (link to the article here: https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/homelessness-worst-ever-been-birmingham-14437159).
What is also notable is that Tracey had ‘never seen so many young people on the streets’ as well. BHST, which Tracey set up alongside her husband Barrington, are a local charity which give out emergency supplies of essentials to rough sleepers in the city. Organisations such as BHST are at the front-line of the city’s homelessness crisis, and are some of the best placed people to give early warning to statutory organisations and wider society. At The Future Melting Pot, we are always eager to gather information from sources that work face-to-face with homeless people. Our forthcoming research project on will centre the experiences of young homeless people themselves and those who interact with them most closely. This is arguably the best way to ensure that policy reflects peoples’ lived experiences.
Organisations such as BHST should be applauded for the work they do, often without the recognition or funding of larger charities. They are on twitter @BhamHST
Photo Credit: Birmingham Post
Road collisions affect more than just the victims
Our vision is to reduce road traffic collisions involving young people aged 16 – 24 in the West Midlands.
Our mission is to inspire 16-24 year olds to take action and change their attitude towards driving.
Our plan is to create specific targeted prevention programmes shaped by young people and their communities.
To find out more, please click here to visit the dedicated #HaltHeartache website!
The youth of today are characterised as work-shy and unmotivated for true work. We vote the least, work the least and yet we are the most highly educated and literally possess the ideas of tomorrow. Speaking as a member of this generation, the mindset that “we possess degrees no one sees as useful and no actual experience” is like a fury that never ceases. It is a down-heartening message, but the truth is so uplifting; and we can prove it. We haven’t quit. We face the pain of a depression we have no responsibility for and yet we continue to work in all forms.
Action research done by TFMP has shown a consistent pattern from university students, to school leavers, to the disenfranchised of Shard End and Washwood Heath. Each interview, a slice of a struggle generations wide, shows freelance, cash in hand and charity work by the dozen. Each one characterised themselves as unemployed, unable to contribute and useless; the truth is the opposite. This is the message drummed in from a million different sources and not one of them on the ground. The interviews, the meetings, the relationships, tell a whole other story. The generation burns with the Blitz Spirit to work no matter how informal, how unorthodox. If it supports, if it helps, we are there powering on to survive until our time in the sun comes.
There is a long way to go: the economic wasteland is most real for the 16% of those not protected in education or employment. But the fight hasn’t ceased. The pride I feel to be part of a generation where we fight even when we think we have lost is overwhelming. The one prediction for the future is when the clouds clear and the walls stop rattling this Youth of the Blitz Spirit will show a dedication that will lead the next boom. It is only those who quit, who fail.