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GamesAid is Changing Lives at The Clock Tower Sanctuary

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The Clock Tower Sanctuary is the only drop-in service providing information, advice and support to homeless young people in Brighton and Hove. They offer a safe space exclusively for young people to engage with their peers and other visiting agencies. In October of 2015 they became a GamesAid supported charity, receiving a staggering £70,500.

With GamesAid’s support they’ve been able to roll out a programme of fun and accessible activities to help improve you people’s confidence and self-esteem. The activities were chosen by young people and is designed to help them overcome their fears. Once a young person’s crisis needs are met, activities are an essential first step in enabling young people to make positive, sustained changes towards independent living.  The activities include music workshops, yoga, women’s group, cookery, an In2Work programme and table tennis. They’ve been a fantastic success!

 

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One sunny day in February, The Clock Tower Sanctuary travelled up to Tower Bridge Studios for GamesAid charity video shoot. This was a particularly meaningful day for James, a client at The Sanctuary, as the trip marked how much he had achieved since being homeless.

James became homeless in his early teens. After a family breakdown, relationships at home became tense and volatile and he could no longer stay at home. Without a support network, James was alone, vulnerable and on the streets.

 

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After another organisation advised James to visit The Sanctuary, he started visiting the day centre daily. The volunteer team were quick to build a good rapport with James and helped James secure a place in supported accommodation. Despite being motivated to work, James struggled to maintain voluntary roles.

“I felt I couldn’t tell the manager about my depression. I would get really anxious and stop turning up”.

Recognising his potential, The Sanctuary matched James with mentor Kirstie and offered him work experience at the day centre. Working in an environment he felt comfortable with and having supervision and support from his mentor, James established the skills and confidence he needed to sustain voluntary work.

“Kirstie and I get on really well, I am so much more confident now. After being homeless, I really want to have a career helping people with housing. I know how horrible it is being alone and on the streets”.

 

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The Sanctuary helped James achieve his goals – to improve his admin, organisation and time keeping skills. He supported staff with administrative duties at the day centre and took part in public talks, speaking about his experience of homelessness to community groups in Brighton.

“As a direct result of my volunteering at The Sanctuary, I’ve been accepted onto an internship at Brighton Housing Trust! I’ve been here for three months now and it’s flown by! It’s going really well.” James, 26 years old.

GamesAid has helped The Sanctuary to provide the creative, individualised support James and every other homeless young person needs to get their lives back on track.