A new report has found that ‘Live and Work’, an innovative scheme run by St Basils, a leading Birmingham-based provider of services for young people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, could also deliver a considerable public cost saving. LandAid, the property industry charity, has announced it is part-funding phase two of this pioneering project with a £50,000 grant.
St Basils’ scheme, which helps people complete NHS apprenticeships, will save the public up to £5 for every £1 invested in the project.
The report, conducted by the Centre for Community Research, suggests that, alongside the considerable social benefits, there is the potential for significant saving to the public purse due to both the additional tax revenues contributed by the young people in work and their reduced reliance on state benefits. Over the ten years that the scheme will run, the public may save up to £11 million, which equates to a saving of approximately £5 for every £1 invested.
The scheme, developed in partnership with St Basils and the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, provides accommodation in shared flats contained within hospital grounds, for the use of young people who have experienced homelessness. This gives them a supportive and comfortable home while they complete NHS apprenticeships. By helping young people who are otherwise unable to afford rent to secure a place to live, build support networks, and gain life skills, the scheme helps to prepare them for a long-term career with the NHS.
St. Basils is now beginning work on the second stage of the project, which will provide accommodation and less-structured support for 18 young people who have completed their apprenticeships and have started full time work, to support them through the transition period until they are able to afford to rent a home.
LandAid is part-funding phase two of the scheme with a £50,000 grant. The majority of the funds were raised through the charity’s inaugural LandAid Midlands 10K to help end youth homelessness in the region.
Paul Morrish, Chief Executive of LandAid, said: “This fantastic pioneering scheme by St Basils provides vital help for young people who have experienced homelessness, by providing them with a home and the opportunity to gain training for a long-term and fulfilling career in the NHS, where they can go on to help others. At LandAid, we’re immensely proud to be funding phase two of this scheme, helping more young people in the Midlands to achieve successful, independent futures, while benefiting the public through significant savings in the long-term.”
Jean Templeton, Chief Executive of St. Basils, said: “St Basils' objective was to provide young people with the opportunity to take up a range of NHS apprenticeships and live in safe, decent, affordable accommodation without dependency on welfare benefits. We wanted to free them from the complexities of navigating benefit systems and enable them to focus on living their lives and developing their futures. In effect, to provide the same opportunities for young people who are unable to live in a family home or enter the higher education system, as those who have that financial and social support. We’re grateful to LandAid for part-funding phase two of our Live and Work scheme, helping to continue to success of this pioneering project”.
Toby Lewis, Chief Executive of Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: “We embarked on this project because we wanted to do more to help young people at risk of homelessness and in need of secure stable opportunities. Consistent with our passion for learning, we welcome this report, which will be important as we move towards the second phase of this work. We are delighted to have supported young local people into work, without benefits, and with a chance to create careers and help others. Our thanks to everyone involved, especially staff who have worked to mentor and support those clients. They are now proud and established members of our organisation.”
To read the full report, please click here.