Youngsters earn awards for homeless mentoring

Shelter Mentors.  Young Mentors who received awards at a Shelter presentation  evening pictured with Gill Richmond, Peer Co-ordinator  and Helen O'Keefe  Service Manager Shelter ,Rotherham

Shelter Mentors. Young Mentors who received awards at a Shelter presentation evening pictured with Gill Richmond, Peer Co-ordinator and Helen O'Keefe Service Manager Shelter ,Rotherham

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YOUNG people who used to be homeless have achieved awards for educating their peers about living on the streets.

Homelessness charity Shelter’s Ricochet project celebrated the achievements of formerly homeless young people in Rotherham.

It saw the youngsters achieve BTEC qualifications in peer mentoring for their work educating other young people in local schools and youth centres about homelessness, by using their own experiences.

One of the youngsters was 18-year-old Lyndsay Baldwin, who found herself homeless two years ago because of family problems.

She moved between friends and relatives, ending up staying in a caravan in a friend’s garden, before seeking help with a local hostel which led her to Ricochet.

Lyndsay, of Rotherham, is now a volunteer for the project, has her own flat and is studying at Rotherham College.

She said: “Peer education has given me opportunities I never thought I would have, such as getting extra qualifications, being able to do my work placement for college and having the chance to become a volunteer.

“This time last year, I never thought I would be doing this now.

“I wouldn’t have achieved a lot of things without the help of Ricochet.

“When someone is at the bottom and lacks all confidence and motivation to move on, it can be very difficult to pick yourself up and make something of your life.

”I have had no choice but to pick myself up and now I am reaping the rewards for all the hard work.”

The project is run by Shelter and funded by banking giant Barclays.

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