Unite Students partners with youth intervention charity

Unite Students, the UK’s leading owner, manager and developer of student accommodation, has partnered with Streets of Growth, a leading youth intervention charity. Unite Students will provide two floors of space to the organisation at its flagship London property, Hayloft Point, to allow it to undertake vital work in the local area.

Streets of Growth, which was founded in 2001, is a dynamic, ‘life changing’ youth intervention charity, engaging with disadvantaged and marginalised young adults (aged 15-25). It works closely with the police and other agencies to tackle knife crime, gang culture and other anti-social behaviour. Its programmes aim to ‘break the cycle’ of criminality or hopelessness amongst the young people it works with, and ensure they have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

The charity carries out direct street intervention work and aims to support a transition into education and/or employment, running skills workshops covering a range of area, from digital to construction to fashion and beauty.

Until now, the organisation has operated without any permanent premises. The move will see the two floors of Hayloft Point in Aldgate, London, become its first dedicated HQ. 

Streets of Growth will use the space for intervention coaching and creative activities to engage the young people it works with – including productions, filmmaking and textiles. The charity is partnered with the British Bangladeshi Fashion Council, which supports this work. The space at Hayloft Point already incorporates a dedicated performance space/stage, which will facilitate a number of these projects.

Richard Smith, Chief Executive of Unite Students, said:

“We are proud to partner with Streets of Growth and to support their vital work with young adults. This partnership is part of our commitment to have a positive impact on the communities around us.”

Diane Peters, CEO of Streets of Growth, said:

“To be working in partnership with Unite Students, and operating from our new HQ in Aldgate, is incredible. This is our first long-term tenancy since we were established in 2001 and gives us, and our community partnerships, a long-term future – to ensure no vulnerable young adults are left behind, living in harm.”   

Case study

Ami Simpson*, aged 18, said:

“Growing up poor in Tower Hamlets is really hard. Around here, you don’t want to look poor because there are certain people who prey on those who are vulnerable – and that is the reason I got trapped into drug dealing. I was offered £100 to hold drugs but when they asked me to drop it off, they got someone to rob me –  and said I now owed them £1,000 – and had to drug deal to pay off the debt.

“My mum met Streets of Growth at a community event where young people are trained to lead community action projects to improve the safety of the local communities. At first, I refused the invitation to get involved because I lacked confidence, but my intervention coach never gave up on me and visited my home for several weeks, helping with life skills. I am now ready to start their transition into employment workshop, which I will be attending at their new site in Aldgate.”  

*Name changed to protect person’s identity

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