Independent Living Skills

Real preparation for real life

For some 16 year olds, summer is a time when they have just received their GCSE result and are worried as well as excited about joining a new college, making new friends, and buying new clothes. After all, they are on their way to a whole new experience. On the other hand, there are some young teens that have left school with no qualifications, due to exclusion. Their worries are somewhat different to the former:

  • They are worried about keeping a roof over their head:

    ‘Between 36,000 to 52,000 young people are estimated to have been ‘found homeless’ by local authorities in England in 2003’

  • They are worried about getting peaceful nights sleep:

    ‘It can be estimated that 1 in 8 of those homeless young people (up to 6,700) may have recent experience of rough sleeping’

  • They are worried about who to ask for help:

    ‘It is likely that several thousand young people experience homelessness without having any contact with local authorities in England each year'
    (Centrepoint Youth Homelessness Index, 2004)

  • ‘Care leavers are particularly vulnerable to poor economic wellbeing because of poor take up of educational and training opportunities, limited housing options and the expectation to be independent at a young age.’
    (Brighter Futures, BCC presentation 2008)

In response to the multiple issues facing vulnerable young teens in Birmingham, Blue River was set up in order to reduce the problems these young people face by providing them with accommodation, and a prospect to develop many skills which will eventually enable them to live independently and safely and enjoy the benefits of achieving economic well being and social participation.

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