St Basils works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping over 5000 young people per year across the West Midlands region with specific services in Birmingham, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, the Wyre Forest and Coventry.
Every year over 1200 young people are housed in our 29 supported accommodation schemes, which for some young people includes their young children as well. We have a range of prevention, accommodation and support services to help young people regain the stability they need to rebuild their lives, gain skills, training and employment and move on. The aim is to help them successfully break the 'cycle of homelessness' so that they can go on to experience a bright, fulfilling future and never return to a state where they are at risk of homelessness again.
St Basils also works with young people and partners on a national basis (funded separately). We facilitate the National Youth Reference Group and the Youth Homeless Parliament, we are part of the national End Youth Homelessness Alliance and we are working to roll out our 'Positive Pathway' model nationwide.
"You often hear the phrase that Birmingham is Britain's second city but in my view we should be proud of the fact you are Britain's first city when it comes to care for vulnerable homeless young people". "No-one else is doing it as well as you." - HRH The Duke of Cambridge
There is no national homelessness charity but St Basils is one of 7 charities nationwide who in May 2013 joined forces with businesses (HSBC, National Grid and Taylor Wimpey), charities (Homeless Link, Centrepoint, DepaulUK, Relate, Family Lives and The Prince’s Trust), and health professionals (including the Royal College of GPs) to form the ‘End Youth Homelessness Alliance’.
The Alliance aims to raise awareness and advise government of the causes of youth homelessness and what can be done, with the help of local support, to help the situation and reduce the chances of it happening, but the crux of the campaign centres around the idea that we can't end youth homelessness on our own, it takes a whole city to look after it's young people and we need local people, businesses, organisations and groups to pledge their support to help us in our aims for this to be achieved.
On 10th October 2013 Birmingham became the first city in the UK to achieve full city sign up to the principles of the End Youth Homelessness campaign and this is what prompted Centrpoint patron HRH The Duke of Cambridge to visit us and see the wonderful work we do. We were very honoured that HRH Prince William returned to visit St Basils in 2014 and 2015. You can read more about that here.
During April 2015 - March 2016:
young people were provided with advice and support services
vulnerable young people (and in some cases their young children too) were housed by us
of our NEET young people re-engaged with employment, education and training
young people and their families were supported by our family mediation service which aims to prevent youth homelessness
of these interventions achieved a positive outcome
of young people established or maintained independent living
There are more stats available in our 2016 Annual Review entitled 'Extending our Reach'. Please contact us and we will post you a hard copy. We hope to have an electronic version available to download from our Publications page soon.
In 2012 we celebrated 40 years of St Basils work with a special commemorative service and as part of that we put together a timeline of St Basils History*.
"Why ‘St Basils’?" is a question we are often asked. It is a historical name taken from the church where services to young people in the area were originally developed. St Basils Church on Heath Mill Lane, built in the 1880s in the Byzantine style, was only ever a temporary church, eventually subsumed by other nearby parishes, but it remains a Diocesan property.
The church hall area became a meeting place for young people and motorcyclists eventually attracting the attention of some local 'Hells Angels'. In 1971 the Diocese advertised a paid position based at the church to take over running the existing club for young people and help disfuse the tension which had built up between rival gangs of motorcyclists in the area. The role also included managing a team of detached Youth Workers out on the streets who were trying to help young people that were bedding down near the church alongside older rough sleepers. In 1971 Revd Les Milner who had experience of managing youth clubs applied and got the job of running 'The Double Zero club'.
The detached youth work continued for some years. Referrals could be made to hostels in the area but it quickly became clear to Les that provision was needed specifically for young people and that if they could be helped early they would have a better chance of escaping the endless cycle of homelessness....
"For as long as it takes...."
Interestingly the real ‘St Basils’, born circa 300AD also established accommodation ‘for the poor'. However in the beginning of St Basils history as a charity, the building was known as ‘The Boot’.
In 1972 Les Milner founded 'The Boot' nightshelter, opening up the church hall area as basic shelter. The area could sleep 18 young men in dormitory style beds. St Basils as a youth homelessness charity was born.
"We wanted a name young people wouldn't think of as a hostel or an institution...and it incorporated the name of the previous club, the Double Zero. We started 'The Boot' with incredible naivety, we thought we could run it with 2 and a half staff - night shelter, coffee bar and advice centre! But there was an instant response from the young people and in no time we were flooded out; Everyone involved was so concerned about those they were working with. We had a phrase: 'For as long as it takes'. We would stay with each person for as long as it took to sort their problems out".
Revd Les Milner, St Basils Managing Director, 1972 - 2000
*For more recent developments please see our publications page where you can download our most recent Annual Reviews
St Basils is an organisation that wants to make a positive impact on the lives of young people. This is reflected in our imagery and promotional literature where we use positive representations of young people.
We won’t use negative images which portray young people as powerless victims or stigmatise groups such as parents or strangers or over-simplify the reasons which can lead to youth homelessness. We won’t do this because young people tell us that they don’t want to be portrayed in this way, especially for fundraising purposes. It also alienates people who can help to tackle and prevent homelessness.
We recognise that many young people have experienced trauma and we work with them to recognise and build on talents and strengths in order that they have the confidence and skills to overcome their past experiences and achieve their ambitions. We want young people to see their successes reflected in positive imagery which encourages and celebrates their achievements and potential.
So if you donate to us you are helping create a better brighter future for young people. We receive no government funding for our Learning, Skills and Work service and the vast majority of the money you raise for us goes towards that support service helping young people gain the skills they need to live independently and access further education, training and employment so that they can move on successfully and be truly independent.
Our promise to you:
- We are a local charity so everything you raise stays here in the West Midlands helping homeless young people or those at risk.
- We don’t use so called ‘Chuggers’, phone or door-to-door fundraisers and we don’t post out Direct Mail
- We acknowledge receipt and thank every person who sends us a financial donation (unless you opt to do this anonymously by text)
- We never share or sell data on our donors
If you are working with us or raising money in aid of us, we hope you will share and back our vision and #staypositive.
St Basils is;
- A Company Limited by Guarantee (number 3964376) registered in England with Companies House and not having share capital
- A Registered Provider registered with the Homes and Communities Agency (number H3994)
- A Charity registered with the Charity Commission (number 1080154)
The operations of St Basils are controlled under the direction of the Board of Directors, within the regulatory framework set by the Homes and Communities Agency, Charity Commission and Companies Act. Our ‘Memorandum of Articles of Association’ as well as any complementary rules of procedure as defined by the Board, are the rules by which the organisation operates and decisions are made.
The Board of Directors is made up a minimum of 7 and up to a maximum of 18 Members.
The Board composition is made up of; 10 Ordinary Directors, 3 Nominated Directors, 4 co-opted Directors and 1 Executive Director (who is the Chief Executive).
Directors are appointed to the Board based upon their qualifications, skills and experience.
The Board represents and is accountable to the Company Members. The Board's responsibilities are active, not passive, and include the responsibility of regularly evaluating the strategic direction of the company, management policies and the effectiveness with which management implements them.
It is the responsibility of the Board to act in good faith and with due care so as to exercise their business judgment on an informed basis in what they reasonably and honestly believe to be in the best interests of the company and its Company Members. Each Board Member, upon their appointment to the Board, must sign-up to the Obligations of Directors which can be found here.
The Board and each of the Boards two sub-committees also have the power to hire independent legal, financial or other advisors as they deem necessary.
The Board's responsibilities also include overseeing the structure and composition of the company's Directorate and monitoring legal compliance and the management of risks related to the company's operations. In doing so, the Board may set annual ranges and/or individual limits for capital expenditures, investments and divestitures and financial commitments not to be exceeded without Board approval. These are set out in our Financial Standing Orders Policy and Procedures.
- the Business Support-Sub-committee (also known as the Audit Sub-committee)
- the Service Delivery and Development Sub-committee
The Board may also establish ad hoc sub-committees for detailed reviews or consideration of particular topics to be proposed for the approval of the Board.
Members of the sub-committees are all Directors drawn from the Board itself. The sub-committee Members are appointed by the Members of the Board. Each sub-committee has up to a maximum of 10 Members, of which up to 8 may be Board Members and 2 places are for co-optees. Consideration is given to the desires, skills and characteristics of individual Directors.
David Leigh (Chair)
Amelia McCann (Chair)
*The Chair of the Board Sara Fowler is ex-officio on all sub-committees.
St Basils’ independent auditor is appointed annually by our Board of Directors at the Annual General Meeting. The Business Support Sub-committee of the Board makes a proposal to the Board of Directors in respect of the appointment of the auditor based upon its evaluation of the qualifications and independence of the auditor to be proposed for election or re-election on an annual basis.
St Basils has a Risk Management Policy which outlines St Basils overall guidelines for risk management and related processes. The St Basils Risk Management Policy is approved by the Board of Directors. The Board’s role in risk oversight includes risk analysis of St Basils Risk Register and assessment in connection with financial and business reviews, updates and decision-making proposals and is an integral part of Board deliberations.
The Business Support Sub-committee is responsible for, among other matters, risk management relating to the financial reporting process and assisting the Board’s oversight of the risk management function.
As a Company, St Basils is required to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year or within 15 months of the previous AGM.
The purpose of the AGM is to;
- Receive the Directors’ report
- To consider the accounts and auditors report
- To appoint the auditor (if necessary)
- To transact any other business specified in the notice convening the meeting.
The next Annual General Meeting is scheduled for October 2017. To request details please contact our Governance Officer Laura Hanley-Gorton.
The minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting will be available shortly.
Sara Fowler (Ordinary Director & Chair of the Board of Directors)
Amelia McCann (Ordinary Director and Chair of Service Delivery & Development Sub-committee)
Maddy Bunker (Ordinary Director)
Chris Miller (Ordinary Director)
Cllr. Sharon Thompson (Nominated Director)
Steve Guyon OBE (Ordinary Director)
Cllr Debbie Clancy (Nominated Director)
Gina Reid (Ordinary Director)
Sean Marsay (Ordinary Director)
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Todd (Ordinary Director)
Feizal Hajat (Ordinary Director)
Father Adam Romanis (Nominated Director)
Jean Templeton (Executive Director)
John Parr MBE