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You’ve helped the Centrepoint Helpline to reach even more young people

01 March 2019

When a young person becomes homeless or is worried about their housing situation, it’s unlikely they’ll have the life experience to know what help they’re entitled to from their local council or where to go to find the information they need.

When a young person becomes homeless or is worried about their housing situation, it’s unlikely they’ll have the life experience to know what help they’re entitled to from their local council or where to go to find the information they need. They’re probably quite scared (although they may not admit it) and may be struggling with other issues, such as mental health problems. Centrepoint’s Helpline is a vital lifeline that helps young people to understand their options before their options run out.

We’ve been working with Centrepoint, the UK’s leading youth homelessness charity, since 2017 and thanks to customers and colleagues, we’ve raised over £1 million so far to support their mission to end youth homelessness. Some of this money has been used by Centrepoint to support and develop their national Helpline, a free advice service for 16 – 25 year olds and anyone who’s worried about a young person they know.

As well as calling the Helpline number, young people can speak to an advisor through webchat, a service that was introduced thanks to funding provided through The Co-operative Bank which makes the Helpline even more accessible to the ‘connected generation’. Most importantly, however a young person chooses to contact the Helpline, they always find someone on the other end who will take the time to listen to them.

In 2018 the Centrepoint Helpline received over 8,000 calls and provided advice and guidance to 4,404 young people facing homelessness. As 1 in 5 of the calls received were from the Greater Manchester area, a local arm of the Helpline was set up and officially opened by Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, and The Co-operative Bank in December 2018. It had already helped over 830 young people by February 2019.

“We’ve been able to expand the Helpline team into Manchester so now we’ve got a dedicated team of three staff who are based in our Manchester office. Without The Co-operative Bank’s support that would not have happened.”

Sally Orlop, Director of People, Skills and Employability, Centrepoint

Case study: How your support gave Jane the help she needed to escape an abusive relationship

When Jane called the Centrepoint Helpline she was 24 years old and had been married and living with her husband for three years. During this time, he had begun abusing her emotionally and physically. He had developed a drug habit, which was causing him to make unfounded accusations about Jane’s relationships with other people and which escalated to physical abuse.

Eventually, Jane built up the courage to leave the marital home and she moved back in with her family. Unfortunately, a family member who had been violent towards Jane in the past soon began to hit her again and the relationship with her family broke down. They asked her to leave. Jane was able to stay with a friend for a short time and it was while she was there that she made her initial call to the Centrepoint Helpline and found the strength to tell an advisor her story.

Having made sure that Jane had somewhere safe to stay that night, the advisor spent time listening to her situation. Having found out that she was from Manchester, they were able to complete a referral form over the phone which was then passed directly to the Homeless Prevention Team at Centrepoint’s City Centre Project in the city, who arranged for her to come in to see them. They were able to make a full assessment of her situation so they could decide together which support options would be best for her. Thanks to the expansion of the Helpline into Manchester, the Centrepoint team were able to work together quickly to find Jane a safe, long-term place to live.

Find out more about how The Co-operative Bank’s support has helped Centrepoint to grow and develop their Helpline.

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