University links with local Third Sector to 'End Youth Homelessness'

Posted on Thursday 10th October 2013

Heather Buckingham (TSRC Fellow), David Mullins (Professor of Housing Policy), Ricky Joseph (CHASM Fellow), Nadia Ali (BA Social Policy Student), Jennifer Cumming (Senior Lecturer of Sport and Exercise Psychology), Mary Quinton (Reserach Assistant SchoolProfessor David Mullins in the Housing and Communities Research Group, School of Social Policy is working with colleagues across the University to support St Basils to make Birmingham the first UK City to adopt the ‘End Youth Homelessness’ pledge. 

Read the full St Basil's article: 'Birmingham City pledges support for End Youth Homelessness campaign' here

(Photograph: Heather Buckingham (TSRC Fellow), David Mullins (Professor of Housing Policy), Ricky Joseph (CHASM Fellow), Nadia Ali (BA Social Policy Student), Jennifer Cumming (Senior Lecturer of Sport and Exercise Psychology), Mary Quinton (Reserach Assistant School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences).

St Basils has support from a broad range of partners now including The City Council, Jack Dromey MP, the Bishop of Birmingham, representatives from the Business community, local housing and support providers, the Police and Crime Commissioner and his Deputy, representatives from the Health community, Voluntary sector.

University Engagement

The Housing and Communities Research Group is developing a research partnership with St Basils to secure funding for research to: 

  • Develop and use the data generated by the Youth Homelessness Hub as a strategic information resource for the City and the wider exploitation of this unique data set to inform policy and research on youth homelessness and its prevention nationally and internationally
  • Build an evidence base for inter-organisational service delivery partnership to commission and deliver the full range of support and accommodation services required to end youth homelessness
  • Assess the impact of the innovative pledge to End Youth Homelessness in the City, enabling Birmingham to demonstrate the impact of the first city based in the UK

Nadia Ali, a third year Social Policy student, is undertaking her dissertation with St Basils on ‘ How can homelessness be prevented amongst NEETS (young people not in employment, education or training)’. Further undergraduate links are planned as part of the BA Social Policy, Housing and Communities Pathway. Plans for a knowledge transfer secondment and a linked PhD are being developed with the University’s Research and Innovation Services Team.

Elsewhere in the University

Dr Jennifer Cumming in the School of Sport, Exercise & Rehabilitation Sciences has been commissioned to develop a mental skills training programme for young people at St Basils, based on the work they are doing with the Premier League Football Academies. The programme will educate recipients about the use of different mental techniques and strategies (e.g., effective goal setting, support seeking, etc.) that will help them to realise their individual potential and attributes including confidence, emotional control, and mental toughness/resilience.

Sally Richardson, in the American/Canadian Studies Dept, College of Arts and Law has made two videos on Homelessness in Birmingham as part of her Degree in American and Film Studies.

Kate Jermey and colleagues in Research and Innovation Services are looking to see how they can support these, and hopefully other, projects through additional means, namely internal sources of funding (e.g. KTS) and external (ESRC/TSB).

"Commenting on End Youth Homelessness, David Mullins, Professor of Housing said: The 'End Youth Homelessness' pledge highlights the devastating impact that having no settled home means for other areas of a young person’s life; particularly education, self- esteem and job prospects. It is therefore appropriate that Birmingham University should support the first City Pledge to End Youth Homelessness."