Employees at the Birmingham branch of business accountants and tax specialists Haines Watts have taken up the challenge to raise funds for West Midlands-based charity St Basil’s, one of the UK’s leading charities working to prevent young people becoming homeless.
After voting for St Basil’s as their chosen charity, the team based at their Edgbaston headquarters have pledged to raise £5,000.
The fundraising efforts kick off when the team take part in the Big Birmingham Sleepout on 3rd December. This year the Sleepout will be held at the city’s Millennium point, and over 1000 people are expected to register.
Haines Watts Birmingham Business partner, Andrew Jones said: “Our brief was simple, the team wanted to give back locally, through fundraising, donations, volunteering in terms of time and skills.
“Given the issues surrounding youth homelessness, we decided St Basils would be a great partnership to work with, it was a win-win for both. We are really pleased to support St Basils and can’t wait for our team to get involved and really make a difference.”
Head of fundraising and communication at St Basils, Barrie Hodge, said: “We are thrilled that the Haines Watts team have chosen St Basils as its charity partner and very much look forward to working with them to support our vital work in the community”
Based in Digbeth, Birmingham, St Basils targets its help at the 16 to 25-year-old demographic and supports 5,000 people every year, 500 of whom are accommodated every night in 42 locations across the West Midlands. The charity invests in the infrastructure that enables and facilitates good outcomes – stable home life or employment – that help reduce homelessness in the first instance.
To this end St Basil’s needs to raise £1.2 million per year to maintain its support for young people, including the running of its living and working initiative, its youth village and its outreach apprenticeship schemes. Despite forecasting a dramatic drop in income due to the pandemic, the charity still managed to raise £1.1 million last year.
“Birmingham, for example, is a very young city with the least experienced workforce, many of whom are on very low wages and zero hours contracts, which means it can be incredibly difficult to meet rent payments,” said Barrie.
“The focus is really on trying to prevent people becoming homeless. This could be through family mediation where relationships have broken down or working with other providers to find other accommodation if they can’t stay at home, while our outreach teams also go out into the community and the streets of Birmingham to provide crisis support.”