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Firms are urged to back transparent gift-giving campaign this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 14:37 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:37 22 November 2018

Your Own Place founder and director Rebecca White with, right, Jarrod Ewles (tenancy and independant living trainer) and Simon George, a former service user.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Your Own Place founder and director Rebecca White with, right, Jarrod Ewles (tenancy and independant living trainer) and Simon George, a former service user. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2017

For many young people in Norfolk, this Christmas will be one spent alone in an unfamiliar flat – perhaps without even the budget to turn on the heating.

That’s why one of Norfolk’s social enterprises has teamed up with the county’s chamber of commerce to give a gift this festive season which will transform the holiday for those who are struggling.

Future50 business Your Own Place has launched a #Transparentgiving campaign, where businesses or individuals can buy a practical item such as a set of mugs or a saucepan for someone who needs them.

Your Own Place supports young people in transition to settle, from support with housing through to employment, by offering advice and mentor schemes.

Rebecca White, founder of Your Own Place, said: “Christmas can be really tough for some people who will be spending it alone. They won’t receive a card or anyone to check in on them, and with everything shut have nowhere to go.

“But if the four walls you’re in feel like a home and not just a house it can make a huge difference.”

Benefactors of Your Own Place have created Argos wish lists which can be accessed and purchases made by members of the public.

“They’re not asking for grand things like 32” TVS. They’re asking for mugs so they can make their mum a cup of tea in their own home, they’re asking for a saucepan,” Ms White said.

The method of charitable giving started in America, and allows companies to see exactly where their cash is going and who it is helping, instead of it being put into a larger charity pot.

The Norfolk Chamber of Commerce has been helping the enterprise to approach some of the county’s larger employers.

“If we can get some of the larger companies on board it would make a huge difference,” Ms White said.

“If young people feel like the place they’re in is theirs, they’re more likely to look after it and to stay instead of ending up homeless.”

One young person who has already benefitted from the scheme said: “I really appreciate the items that I received as I’ve had some money problems. I feel so grateful that random strangers want to help out. It’s given me hope.”
To get involved, visit www.yourownnetwork.co.uk

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