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Helping tackle youth poverty

By OVO Foundation Monday 10 April 2017

Youth homelessness is an extremely complex problem. There are no simple solutions. The thing to do is look at the causes and find out how we can tackle these.

 

What is youth homelessness?

Being a young homeless person isn’t something limited to those you see sleeping on the streets. Under the law, you can still be classed as homeless even if you have a roof over your head. Maybe you don’t have a right to stay there. Maybe it’s not safe. Maybe it’s not permanent. Research carried out on behalf of the charity Shelter says that the most common definition of homelessness for young people was not having a permanent home – being forced to move from house to house every few weeks, from sofa to sofa, and having to live out of a bag.

 

What causes youth homelessness?

Family breakdown is the most common reason that young people become homeless. But some other common factors are:

  • They are vulnerable. Perhaps they’ve been in the care system. Maybe they’ve come from abusive homes.
  • There isn’t a place for them. Their local authority could be struggling to house everyone they’re responsible for. And the way the government class them may affect whether they’re entitled to somewhere or not.
  • They can’t find a job. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for young people, in particular, to find work in the post-recession job market.
  • They can’t find a home. Because prices in the private-rented sector are simply too high.

 

What are the long-term effects of youth homelessness?

If you experience homelessness at a young age you’re at a greater risk of becoming homeless again, and developing complex problems later on in life. The solution isn’t a simple one. We need better, more integrated responses from agencies coming into contact with young people who are affected by homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless. That’s why we’re really keen to develop innovative solutions that not only address the root causes; they help prevent homelessness in the long term too.

 

How can we prevent youth homelessness?

We’ve always supported youth homelessness charities – making two £20k grants to 1625ip in Bristol, and Depaul in London. These are two charities our team voted to support as part of our OVO Gives Back initiative. On top of the grants, we’ve been very hands-on; helping them out through volunteering.

 

Giving money and time is all very well, but we love finding innovative ways to fix things. Whether that’s a problem for our customers or a big social problem like youth homelessness. That’s why we’ve put our efforts into a scheme we’ve started called Future Builders. Here’s a bit about what it is and how it helps change lives:

  • Future Builders sees young homeless people in Bristol refurbishing homes that they’ll actually live in.
  • They’ll also gain skills for apprenticeships and employment in the future.
  • It’s a smart way to help them transition from supported housing to independent living.
  • And it tackles the problem by working with three important partners: the council, a local college and a local youth homeless charity. Each of these three play a big part in preventing youth homelessness, so bringing them all together is essential to finding a solution that really works, and really helps.

Read more about future builders here.

Our sources…

Shelter

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

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Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.

 

1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 06/06/2017, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 06/06/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 04/10/2017.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

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94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

Britain's top rated energy provider: Britain's top rated energy provider in the Which? 2015 satisfaction survey. Survey conducted in October 2015. Awarded in January 2016.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

Which?: Achieved the highest score of 78% in the Which? Satisfaction Survey conducted in September and October 2016.

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