The campaign, which will run from 21 November to February 2017, will fund the launch of the Centrepoint Helpline, a ground-breaking new service for 16-25-year-olds at risk of homelessness.
Research by Yougov revealed a need for a single service where young people can access housing information, support and their rights. The Helpline answers that need, providing a first-stop for young people facing problems that often lead to homelessness, including financial difficulties and health problems.
Figures from Centrepoint’s Youth Homelessness Databank revealed 150,000 young people last year approached their local authority for help with housing. Centrepoint believes the quicker a vulnerable young person receives help, the more likely the intervention is to be a success. It's also cheaper for the taxpayer.
ESI Media has run successful social and fundraising campaigns in previous years. Last year’s ESI Christmas appeal raised over £3.5 million for Great Ormond Street Hospital. The year before £1.5 million was raised for homeless veterans, say the publishers.
Evgeny Lebedev, owner of ESI Media, commented: "I am thrilled to be working with Centrepoint on this momentous initiative. Government services are struggling to cope with the growing number of young people facing housing problems, and many are being turned away from local authorities without even being assessed – a state of affairs which shames us all. With this campaign we expect not only to reduce the number of young people who put themselves in danger, but also educate the public on the various forms homelessness can take in Britain in 2016.”
Nick Connolly, Centrepoint’s Head of Corporate Development, said: “The success of this campaign could be the difference between thousands of young people sleeping rough or finding warm, safe place to stay. When it launches, the Centrepoint Helpline will be the first single advice service for young people in facing or experiencing homelessness.
“But raising money will not be the only legacy of this campaign. The issue will receive an unprecedented amount of coverage over the coming months and we will seize this fantastic opportunity to reframe the conversation around youth homelessness, an issue that is not well understood by the public at large.”
Nigel Clarkson, Managing Director, Yahoo UK, said: “Centrepoint’s work in combating youth homelessness is more important now than ever. Centrepoint has been Yahoo UK’s charity partner since 2015, so we’re immensely proud to offer support beyond our fundraising activities to promote the launch of the new helpline. Our aim is to drive as much awareness of the helpline service as possible, through our advertising and editorial content, and our hope is that by working with Centrepoint and its partners, we can raise more money to keep young people safe and off the streets.”
Ashley Highfield, CEO of Johnston Press, said: "We are extremely proud that i will play its part in a life-changing and, in some cases, life-saving project. The need for help has become obvious, and we know this is an issue close to our readers' hearts. We will shine light on the stories of these young people - and we hope this coalition can create practical solutions which transform their prospects, as well as start to change the debate around youth homelessness."