Students across the UK will have had their results by now which for huge numbers of young adults means the potential beginning of a prosperous working life.
Those fortunate enough to have acquired a university education are better equipped than most to enter the job market. They are also more likely to find better paid jobs, so university is often a stepping stone to a better and more secure life.
Many students have strong supportive family or friends who may have assisted in providing interim loans or rent guarantees for accommodation.
But what about those children and young people who weren’t lucky enough to have this good fortune? Those who grew up in violent, abusive or neglectful households where being beaten, or worse, were, and are, daily occurrences?
What about those who become homeless and whose only crime was being young and finding themselves in circumstances they could control or influence?
Many turn in desperation to hopeless and weak role models, such as drug dealers for advice.
It isn’t surprising that they sometimes go then go down the route of substance. Alchohol and illegal drugs have caused several lost generations but the needle or bottle are unworthy friends.
Millions, yes millions, of young people who could have been nurses, lawyers, dentists and doctors and business people have had their futures torn apart by criminal gangs supplying a product that ruins and kills just for money, or even their own next ‘high’!
We need strong laws in the war against top of the tree drug dealers. I’m not talking about users, they are victims of a cynical thirst for money by international dealers who are the real perpetrators of this misery.
In my opinion they should not be treated with a soft touch, or soft prisons either. They are murderers, if not literally, then certainly in the sense that they murder ambition and hope for many of our young people and cause chaos in wider family groups and society generally simply through greed.
Having said all that it is important to remember and understand that there are organisation’s which exist to help young people who have been subjected to some of the above, rebuild their lives and believe in themselves.
Britton House in Bristol is one of those places. Owned and operated by social housing group, Bromford, who focus on providing accommodation across many areas, including private housing, shared equity, affordable for rent and assisted living.
Leon and I were lucky enough to attend a BBQ there during May 2016 and chatting with the young people it was clear they all realised they were fortunate to have found somewhere that exits solely to help them move positively forward with their lives.
The staff are dedicated professionals who understand the issues.
Jack lives his life to fulfil his desire to see the young people living at Britton House
fulfil their potential too and people like Cheryl who cooked the best Jamaican food I’ve tasted since I was in Montego Bay!
As I often say… “It Isn’t Where You’re From That Matters, It’s Where You’re Going That Counts”
Thanks to places like Britton House many young people from seriously disadvantaged backgrounds get given a chance in life they never expected.
In the end of course it’s up to them whether they follow drug dealers and others who will almost certainly spend years in a physical prison and possibly occupy a mental one produced by substance or alcohol abuse themselves, or they can follow the lead of people like Jack & Dani who want each and everyone of them to achieve a balanced, prosperous and happy life.
My advice to all the brilliant young people at Britton House is to grasp the opportunity with both hands. Turn away from people who are manipulating you for ‘their’ own aims and recognise the positive contribution Britton House and it’s staff are providing in helping you do this.
Young people are our future so what Bromford, Britton House, and its staff are doing deserves recognition at the highest level.
The government ( any government ) must treat the root cause of social issues like homelessness in young people, drug, alcohol, and other forms of abuse.
Where bubbles of despair still result government must provide the means for places like Britton House to do their job properly. It’s far too expensive for society to ignore and hope this issue will just go away! It won’t.
Thank you again to both staff & residents of Britton House for a lovely May afternoon BBQ & allowing Leon & I to visit and talk with you all.