Sheffield, 27 November 2017 - OVO Foundation launches Future Builders scheme in Sheffield, partnering with youth homeless charity Roundabout, alongside CTS Training and Sheffield City Council.
The scheme uses an innovative approach to help to tackle youth poverty and homelessness by giving young homeless people the opportunity to refurbish properties that then become their home, whilst also providing apprenticeship or employment opportunities.
For the next three months, the Sheffield Future Builders scheme will give six young people the opportunity to complete a traineeship, gain Maths and English qualifications, and get valuable work experience within the construction industry as they help renovate properties that they will move into in 2018.
Three semi-derelict properties have been provided by Sheffield City Council at peppercorn rent. This arrangement, combined with OVO Foundation’s funding for the renovation of the properties will result in the creation of more affordable housing for Sheffield’s young homeless people. This means that when the young people move into the houses, their apprenticeship wage will cover their rent, leaving them with money to live and support their financial independence.
Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, OVO Foundation, said: “We are delighted to launch Future Builders in Sheffield following the success of the scheme in Bristol. We believe that the provision of affordable housing, in combination with training and job opportunities can help break the cycle of repeat homelessness and help young people on their journey to complete independence. The scheme helps the Future Builders renovate and create a home for themselves and therefore break the cycle of homelessness, but it also serves the additional benefit of bringing old housing stock back into use.”
OVO Foundation’s mission is to explore new solutions to complex social issues and act as a social incubator for innovative schemes like Future Builders. The roll out of the scheme in Sheffield follows a successful Bristol pilot, which saw trainees move into their new, self-renovated homes in April 2017. The Bristol scheme has since doubled in size with ten young people starting a pre-apprenticeship programme in September 2017 with two additional Council properties currently being renovated.
Ben Keegan, Chief Executive Officer, Roundabout said: “The Future Builders scheme is a great opportunity for young people to gain their independence using the skills they have gained renovating the properties and through the following work placement. It’s also an innovative and sustainable way of making supported accommodation financially viable for young people in work. We are thrilled that OVO Foundation has chosen to work with us and are grateful to Sheffield City Council for providing us with properties to renovate.”
Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “It is fantastic for young people in Sheffield to be involved in such an innovative scheme, taking ownership of their future and developing important skills that will help them to break the cycle of homelessness and flourish in the future.”
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About OVO Foundation
OVO Foundation is OVO Energy’s charity. It was created in 2014 to expand OVO Energy’s charitable giving and bring caring closer to home. OVO Foundation’s mission is to support inspiring organisations with smart ideas in three areas: youth poverty, education, and energy and the environment. At the heart of it all is our mission to give young people a better future. More than 81,000 OVO Energy customers choose to donate to OVO Foundation each month by adding at least 25p to their monthly statement. OVO Energy matches all customer donations doubling the power of what we can achieve together.
The OVO Charitable Foundation (“OVO Foundation”) is a registered charity – its charity registration number is 1155954.
To learn more, visit www.ovoenergy.com/foundation
Roundabout is Sheffield’s youth homeless charity supporting young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The charity works with over 150 young people every day, providing shelter, support and life skills to help them gain independence. Roundabout are part of the End Youth Homelessness (EYH) partnership, which is a national movement aiming to end youth homelessness in the UK.
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