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The Opportunity Partnership see four charities – one of which is St Giles Trust – coming together to tackle youth unemployment across the UK. Launched in July 2013, it has now helped all four charities develop existing successful projects to help young people secure jobs and other employment-related outcomes.
One of these was 22-year old James who was helped through St Giles Trust’s Choices Programme in Cardiff which supports disadvantaged young people overcome barriers to get into employment, education and training. James had to leave home at 16 after an unsettled time following the death of his father when he was seven. When he met our Choices Caseworker Stephen he was unemployed, unsupported and depressed.
“I was struggling with payments on bills and rent. I could only afford to eat once a day and was really skinny. I had £80 a fortnight to live on and had to prioritise gas and electric.”, he says.
Stephen helped James identify his aims and goals and - given James’s passion for football – he undertook a placement at Cardiff City Stadium and then secured a coaching qualification. Stephen also helped James to stabilise his living situation and sort out his finances.
With this in hand, their attention then turned to helping James find paid employment. With Stephen’s support, James secured a job as a full-time Sales Agent at Griffin Place Communications in Cwmbran near Newport. He also continues his football through playing for the charity Street Football Wales and has recently organised a fundraiser for them.
James is just one of thousands of young people we have been able to assist in Cardiff, Leeds and London over the past two years.
Rob Owen OBE, Chief Executive of St Giles Trust said:
“We are very proud of today’s news as it demonstrates what can be achieved when a bank commits to working with four experienced charities to tackle youth unemployment. Despite a welcome fall in rates of youth employment, there is still much more work to do. Young people who are particularly disadvantaged through issues such as homelessness or a criminal record still struggle to share in the recovery. It is with these young people that we must redouble our efforts to ensure they do not get left behind and with HSBC’s generosity help many more severely disadvantaged young people become positive contributors to society.”