OVO Foundation extends support for youth homelessness work to West Midlands
10 JAN 2019

We are delighted that OVO Foundation has announced additional funding to tackle youth homelessness through supporting our Live and Work Scheme. 

Building on the OVO Foundation’s core mission to help smart charitable organisations tackle complex social problems like youth homelessness, the additional funding helps young people who have been homeless or at risk of homelessness, remain in work. 

The Live and Work Scheme was launched in partnership with Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust in 2016 and provides affordable accommodation for young people either completing an NHS apprenticeship or in employment. The scheme takes an innovative approach to help tackle youth homelessness by giving young people the opportunity to live in truly affordable properties, whilst also providing apprenticeship or employment opportunities. In 2017, a review of the project found it generated £14 of social value for every £1 invested into the scheme, demonstrating its positive impact. 

The Live and Work Scheme provides accommodation for 32 young people. Funding from OVO Foundation will ensure that the costs of the project remain affordable for young people in apprenticeships and entry level employment as they start to transition to independent living.

Recent statistics show that youth homelessness is a growing problem in the UK, which is why the OVO Foundation has focused on tackling youth poverty and homelessness since it was set up in 2015. From January-March 2018 over 808k 16-24 year olds were not in employment, education or training and over 215k were not getting the help they needed.

Gaby Sethi, Head of OVO Foundation and CSR, commented:

“We are excited to be funding St Basils’ Live and Work Scheme in West Midlands following the success of our similar schemes that tackle youth homelessness in Bristol and Sheffield. One of OVO Foundation’s aim is to reduce youth poverty by increasing young people’s opportunities for long-term employment and affordable housing in the UK, and so it’s great that we’re contributing to the St Basils’ scheme in the West Midlands and supporting more young people across the country. We originally set out to find inspiring organisations that have simple solutions to complex social issues which is why St Basils is the perfect partner for us to be working with next. ” 

OVO Foundation continues to fund its Future Builders schemes in Bristol and Sheffield. Through this scheme, young people renovate houses that they go on to live in. Since the beginning of the scheme in 2016, over 9 young people who completed the programme are now employed, in an apprenticeship or enrolled in further training. The delivery model for Future Builders adopts the same principle as Live and Work – affordable housing for young people who have experienced homelessness combined with opportunities for employment or further training.

Jean Templeton, Chief Executive, St Basils commented:

“The support we are receiving from OVO Foundation is invaluable to us. This will help complement the many partnerships that it takes to make a project like this work by ensuring that the project is affordable and viable for the residents who live there.  We are extremely excited by the values of the foundation and we are delighted they have chosen to support our work. ”



[1]Centrepoint (2018) Making homeless young people count: The scale of youth homelessness in the UK.