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Local businesses in Newcastle have been donating their services to help young people at risk of homelessness to prepare for their future in a new scheme developed by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN).

YHN, which supports young people into homes and employment, launched the new project to bring together local businesses willing to support vulnerable young people living in the city.

Gosforth-based Webster and Carr Premium Barbers was one of the first local business to get involved, offering free haircuts as incentives for young people preparing for job interviews and other special occasions.

One of the first young people to benefit is John Beaty. Since moving into a YHN-managed hostel, John has gone through a support programme and is about to embark on his own tenancy with YHN, as well as start employment through YHN’s ‘Your Homes Your Jobs’ work placement and training programme.

John said: “I’m really looking forward to starting the Your Homes Your Jobs scheme and the haircut from Webster and Carr has given me a big confidence boost after lockdown and made me feel ready for my first day.”

Webster and Carr business owner Darren Carr, said: “As a new business in the community, I feel it’s important to give something back, especially during these difficult times and that’s why we jumped at the chance to be involved.”

Kenton Amateur Boxing Club has also signed up to the scheme and is offering free taster sessions for the young residents interested in improving their fitness.

Your Homes Newcastle Customer Services Director Jen Vinton said: “We are so much more than a housing provider and we want to see the young people that we support in our schemes go on to succeed in life. We provide a range of support to help them develop their skills and experience, independently manage their homes, find rewarding employment opportunities, and establish their place within the community.

“This latest scheme is a positive step in integrating young people into the community and having their hard efforts rewarded. The support that we have seen from local businesses just goes to show how much the city has pulled together to help others since the coronavirus outbreak. I’d like to wish John the best of luck as he starts his training programme with us.”

YHN offers specialist support to help local young people across the city who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to move into independent living, including offering continuing support in managing their tenancy and offering advice, advocacy and support on a wide range of issues.

Any local businesses who are interested in getting involved in the new scheme can contact Supported Living Manager Anthony Clark by emailing Anthony.clark@yhn.org.uk.