Somers Town is an area between Kings Cross and Euston in central London. It is where New Horizon Youth Centre has been located for decades.
This NHYC 10 Days we are shining a light on the incredible partnerships we have in the area, and businesses that are working with us to end youth homelessness. Rachel from Phoenix Court highlights below how when working together, we can take charge of change.
If you are inspired to get involved share this blog with your local business, get involved with our NYHC 10 Days campaign or donate to support our vital work.
Where you are is who you are
At Phoenix Court, our purpose is to be a good neighbour and to help people realise their true potential and when we moved in to Somers Town, five years ago, it was very important to us to get to know our neighbours and understand how we might be able to support them.
We met with Phil Kerry, CEO of New Horizon Youth Centre, in the first 6 months of being in our home at Phoenix Court and he educated us on the challenges around youth homelessness in the area. At that time they had between 30-55 young people a day (around 1,200 a year) using the centre. Those numbers shocked me – why is this happening? How is this possible?
We learnt from the team at the centre that thousands of young people across London become homeless through no fault of their own. We knew, as a vital support service in the neighbourhood, we wanted to partner with New Horizon to help them deliver their mission.
Working in partnership
Alongside major challenges, Somers Town has amazing opportunities. Its location offers a great opportunity for collaboration with the world’s largest innovation district. There is a great deal going on in the neighbourhood through local organisations and we want to work with them to get projects off the ground and help make their ideas a reality – it’s important that we all support each other to navigate this ever changing world.
It’s important that businesses, institutions, policy makers and civil society work in partnership to solve problems. With this diversity in knowledge and expertise we can create models that can be replicated by others and have 100 times the impact.
How we work with the community
Impact is baked into the economics of our business, allowing Phoenix Court Works, our foundation, to have a steady stream of income to support building sustainability, resilience and renewal in our neighbourhood and broader community.
So far, we have partnered with over 40 organisations – 80% of those directly impacting Somers Town. We have made a long-term commitment to those organisations to provide more than just funding, for example:
- Phoenix Court doors are open to everyone – our team, neighbourhood and ecosystem.
- We leverage our expertise to help local organisations in areas such as finance, legal, organisational development and recruitment.
- We host regular events that bring together local organisations, policy makers, and businesses to discuss key topics such as the Cost of Living crisis, climate emergency, with a local lens. These events help to foster collaboration and innovative problem solving among diverse organisations.
- We’ve worked on initiatives with local organisations including funding Universal Free School Meals across three Somers Town primary schools. These projects embody our commitment to partnership, involving organisations in the decision-making, design, and planning processes.
Being a good neighbour
When you’re in the Kings Cross area you are met with homelessness on a day to day basis. Sadly there are too many people sleeping on the streets and seeing this everyday as you go to work, you feel helpless. Its organisations like New Horizon who are making a real difference in helping to improve the lives of young people who find themselves homeless. They have created a centre where everything they need is under one roof, helping them to improve their health, change their economic circumstances and ultimately find somewhere they can call home.
For us, innovation is a key driver in addressing fundamental challenges around health, inequality and climate and we hope to continue to work together with New Horizon Youth Centre to help tackle these challenges in any way that is helpful to them.
If you are inspired to get involved to Take Charge of Change to end youth homelessness, share this blog with your local business, get involved with our NYHC 10 Days campaign or donate to support our vital work.