Joe Hellewell, standing outside looking out at the crowd inside, mustered up the courage to enter the store with an overwhelming sense of unease and hurried away.
“I was insecure about a lot of things. Sometimes certain stores were too busy to go,” explains Joe, now 22. He couldn’t stand the noise. He was terrified at the thought of taking the train or going to get his hair cut. “
Joe, who lives in Sheffield, was introduced to the charity Roundabout, a member of End Youth Homeless, as a care leaver in long-term foster care.
Me’s Christmas Appeal Building Futures has joined forces with End Youth Homelessness, the UK’s leading youth homeless charity national movement, to help young people in need.
our campaign is Me Readers donate to End Youth Homelessness to help young people get the help they need when they need it, reach their full potential, and have a place they can call home.
the generosity of Me Readers say the appeal has already raised £110,000, but they are asking for as much help as possible so End You Homelessness can help even more young people.
Joe says Me Without the support of End Youth Homelessness and its member charity Roundabout, he would be a completely different person and less confident than he is today.
Joe and his younger brother were placed in long-term foster care when Joe was ten years old. “We were placed in foster care for a few days while they tried to find us a permanent place to live.
“Then family came to visit us on our placement. So we were very lucky.
“But the caregivers who came to see us didn’t want to see us break up, so we stayed together and have been with them for 10 years.”
Joe developed a good relationship with his foster parents, especially with his son, and spent the ten years happily with them. However, in September 2019, he was introduced to Roundabout as a care leaver so he could learn independent living skills.
“At first, I was very lonely because I had just moved out of my family with my brother and my foster son, daughter and foster children. Joe recalls. “At first, it felt daunting.”
However, Joe was assigned to Roundabout resettlement support worker Kim Jowett, and they formed a bond, and he met with her weekly to teach her skills and not only help her face her fears, but Kim He had a listening ear that Joe could talk to about any concerns.
With Kim’s help, Joe was able to face his fear of crowds and crowded stores. She also helped him find a new driving instructor. He has passed his driving test and wants to become a bus driver in the future.
Mr. Joe is currently employed as a support worker for people with disabilities, participating in activities with people with disabilities and doing handicrafts together. “It all started because I was taking care of my mother and she had a caregiver for this organization. I went to the interview and got the job right away.”
When Joe told Kim that he really wanted to climb the mountain, she told him about climbing Snowdon for charity to raise money for the roundabout, and she climbed with him.
After living in a roundabout apartment for three years, Joe recently moved into his own public housing. Kim still visits him weekly to learn to live independently and keep tenants.
“This was a big step and it took me a while to move in because I didn’t think I was ready,” says Joe. “But Kim helped me calm down and now I like it here. I feel at home and comfortable.”
Joe says he wouldn’t have achieved all he did without the support he’s received so far. He said, “I think if he didn’t have the roundabout, he would have given up from the beginning or there were a lot of things he wouldn’t have tried.
“I used to be insecure. Now I’ve gone from being insecure to going to the store to climbing Snowdon and passing my driver’s test.”
Joe believes young people need help at the right time. “Most importantly, I got help,” he says. “Without help, I would still be in no man’s land.
“But sometimes young people can’t say they need help or explain why they need help. But Kim always knew how I needed help.” .
“Sometimes young people feel like they can’t ask for help because no one cares about them or helps them. He was always kind to me, and his friendly presence really helped me.
“The future is definitely bright and I now have a positive outlook on life in general. I feel like I can do anything.
“One of the things I often tell myself and live by is, ‘Life is full of obstacles. The question is not how you can manage them, but how you can manage them. It is a problem.”
Roundabout Resettlement Support Worker Kim Jowett said:
“Joe is a very sociable and fun young man, so it’s great to see him confident and supportive of others in any situation.
“I am very proud of everything he has achieved and know that he will achieve all his goals in life.”
Me We are launching our Christmas 2022 Charity Appeal with the aim of encouraging our generous readers to raise £90,000 for End Youth Homelessness.
Click here for more information on End Youth Homelessness activities
Here’s what your donation can provide:
- £1.65 – covers bus tickets to take homeless youth to job interviews
- £2 – Cover stationery for homeless youth in college
- £3 – Provides homeless youth with lunch at school or work so they can learn and earn money without feeling hungry
- £5 – Apply for a job by providing photo ID to a homeless youth
- £10 – Provides youth with emergency energy meter refills
- £10 – Provides homeless youth with a SIM card for a month so they can maintain family and social contacts and pursue work.
- £15 – Providing new and clean bedding for homeless youth
- £22 – 1 hour assistance from a dedicated housing officer
- £25 – Workwear provided to homeless youth for their first job
- £27.50 – Payment for safe nights accommodation for homeless youth
- £50 – Provides homeless youth transportation to school or work for a month before their first paycheck.
- £100 – Covers first month utility bills for homeless youth