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London Youth Gateway Shortlisted for Andy Ludlow Award

A partnership project aimed at helping young people at risk of being on the streets has been shortlisted for the prestigious Andy Ludlow Awards.

This shortlisting is for the innovative partnership ‘The London Youth Gateway’ between New Horizon Youth Centre, Alone in London, Depaul UK and Stonewall Housing, tackling youth homeless across the capital together.

Marike van Harskamp is the London Youth Gateway Co-ordinator.  She said:  “As a partnership, the London Youth Gateway brings together expertise to help young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, covering each of the many London boroughs. We offer a one stop shop service, combining our resources of a day centre, specialist advice services, emergency accommodation and an LGBT service provider.  So our partnership work means that someone who initially comes to us because they need somewhere to stay that night will be automatically given access to a wider range of services to help them rebuild their life. “

Giselle (18) found herself street homeless when her parents locked her out of the house. She came to the day centre looking for help finding somewhere to live and accessed emergency accommodation the same day.  She said “it was tough trying to think of everything I needed. The staff here are really good; they look at everything you need, not just one thing.  They helped me find me a hostel, an apprenticeship I love, and I see the counsellor. I don’t know where I would have been without their help.”

Shelagh O’Connor, Director of New Horizon Youth Centre, said: “Working in partnership has proved to me how effective the London Youth Gateway can be in making a real impact on young people’s lives. Sharing an ethos and history of working together has underpinned our success and has helped our development and sustainability for the future. Through partnership we were able to help nearly 4,500 young people last year.”

Simon Dow, Chair of the London Housing Foundation, said “All of our Andy Ludlow Awards shortlisted projects this year do an excellent job in different ways. It is encouraging that there is so much innovative and exciting work going on in the homelessness sector in London”

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