Step by Step is a youth charity based in Hampshire operating across the south of England. The charity not only provides accommodation to prevent homelessness, but offers counselling, training and life skills development to ensure a more stable future for young people.
Our young people are our future. Much of the resources of the state, our families and communities are invested in giving young people the best chance in life. As individuals, much of our effort goes into looking after and nurturing the development of young people so that they achieve their potential to contribute to society.
It is a crucial turning point when a young person is dislocated from their family or made homeless. Inevitably they fall behind their peers educationally and socially. The impact on their character, education and motivation is deep and long lasting. The opportunities available to them to develop and improve their lives is severely disrupted. This situation exists in our community and is surprisingly widespread with many young people on the cusp of becoming homeless without anyone recognising their situation or helping them.
Step by Step provides help. With the assurance of established, secure accommodation, Step by Step provides care that begins from the point of presentation, usually after referral from local authorities. Each young person is assigned individual professional support appropriate to their needs – a Step Worker. The aim of young people’s Step Workers is to help every young person to reach their full potential and lead a fulfilling life.
Step by Step is based in Aldershot where there is a comprehensive support service to deliver advice (Youth AIMS), counselling, and personal development through personal mentoring. Step by Step, as the name implies, takes young people from homelessness with all the accompanying difficulties, to being confident, self-sufficient individuals with purpose. The accommodation is organised to underpin each stage of their experience. The Foyers are secure and smart; Supported Lodgings provide a level of independence; Supported Independence Flats are a safety net for those young people not eligible for support elsewhere.
Assistance to young people covers a wide catchment covering Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire, Wiltshire, Surrey and West Sussex with Foyers in Hampshire, but also a wider network of Supported Lodgings across the six counties. Step Workers assigned to all young people in Supported Lodgings travel to provide the support required.
It is important the for the community to understand the work of Step by Step for the sake of referring young people who find themselves in hard times to contact the charity. The sooner young people can be helped, the less damage is done and the better their prospects for the future.
The charity needs the skills and patronage of the community, whether for helping young people prepare for life, or for creating openings and employment. A very active fundraising department is organising charitable events throughout the year and keen to hear of new ideas, particularly as we regain our freedom from the pandemic.
Please consider how you can help Step by Step in all respects. You could promote the profile of Step by Step wherever and whenever you can. But also consider giving or organising a fundraising event which will keep Step by Step in the public eye.
Many churches have people or families prepared to help with Supported Lodgings. The offer of a calm, organised environment is crucial to many young people and invaluable for their reconnection to an independent way of life.
This year we are promoting the 272 Challenge – that’s the number of young people we can accommodate at any given time. Set yourself the challenge of doing 272 units, however small, of any activity and raising money whilst doing the activity. Please feel free to get in touch with Step by Step and see how we support the development of young people who may have fallen on hard times.
See their website here .