Young homeless from Anglesey share thoughts with AMs in Cardiff

A group of young people from Anglesey travelled to the National Assembly in Cardiff this week to take part in a debate on Youth Homelessness.
The debate, which was sponsored by Anglesey AM Rhun ap Iorwerth, was organised by Bangor Universtity PhD student Natalie Roberts and Dr Julia Wardhaugh, working with Digartref Môn, with the help of a grant provided by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account through Bangor University
A number of young people from Anglesey, who are currently living in supported accommodation, came to speak to Assembly Members from different parties about issues affecting them.
Speaking after the event, Ynys Môn AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said:
“It was great to be able to welcome young people from Anglesey to the National Assembly today to take part in a debate on youth homelessness.  We discussed a number of issues, from social housing to the Supporting People programme, and I would like to thank them for sharing their experiences and ideas with us.”
Co-organiser Natalie Roberts said:
“I think this has been a very exciting and important project, that I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of. The young people involved have worked well as a team to prepare and present the presentation covering issues that they are passionate about. We feel the debate was successful and would like to thank the Assembly Members in attendance for listening and responding to the issues that were addressed.  Ultimately, we would like to see some of our ideas taken further and perhaps having an impact on future homelessness policy in Wales.”
Some of the young people who took part also commented on their experience.
Phil Corrie said “The debate enabled us to have a voice in a debate setting and to gain feedback from AMs.  If we have impacted just one subject relating to homelessness, we have made an impact.”
Josh Lloyd commented “Homelessness is a critical social issue and needs recognition. It is a growing concern and something needs to be done”.
Camilla Zirniauskaite added “I think the debate started a very important conversation about the very complex and difficult issues. I think that as a team we got our points across and were able to show the AMs why these issues were important”. 

Programmes to support homeless people on Anglesey must be protected, says AM

Ynys Môn Assembly Member Rhun ap Iorwerth this week asked Welsh Government to maintain the financial support for organisations dealing with and tackling homelessness and said that not doing so would put pressure on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

During Ministerial Questions in the Assembly this week, Rhun praised the excellent work of organisations on Anglesey such as The Wallich, Digartref Môn and Gorwel.

This followed a visit by Rhun to the Wallich Housing First Project in Llangefni last week, where he learnt more about the work they do and the importance of the Supporting People programme.

Housing First Anglesey helps homeless people to find a permanent home quickly, providing ongoing support to help them settle in and maintain their new home. The project provides an intensive support package to actively address issues in a creative and innovative way.

Shian Thomas, Project Manager for Housing First Anglesey at The Wallich said:

“It has been a pleasure to talk to Rhun ap Iorwerth AM about our work on Anglesey and the benefits of Housing First as a model of support to those experiencing homelessness.

“Anglesey Housing First is the only Housing First project in Wales and we are proud to work with the local authority and landlords across the island to alleviate homelessness and provide housing for some of the most vulnerable in our society.

“Services like ours are key in helping to relieve and prevent homelessness and make sure people receive the right support whilst living independently.”

Anglesey AM Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“I had a good meeting with The Wallich team in Llangefni about their work tackling homelessness.

“Welsh Government must protect the Supporting People programme. Many of the Wallich’s projects are funded through the programme, and so I was pleased to be able to raise the matter in the Assembly chamber this week.”

In his question to Communities Cabinet Secretary Carl Sargeant, Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“This month, I met with staff and managers of some of the organisations and charities that do excellent work on Anglesey in tackling and dealing with homelessness, including The Wallich, Digartref Môn, and Gorwel.

“Unfortunately, being asked to do more and more with reducing resources means that they are now reaching a point where it is entirely impossible to achieve, and the threat of a cut to the Supporting People fund from the Welsh Government risks undoing and undermining much of the good work that is and has been done in Anglesey and other parts of Wales.

“Does the Minister recognise that fact and accept that if the Welsh Government doesn’t maintain the financial support for these organisations they will be making a grave error and putting pressure on some of the most vulnerable people in our society?”

Unfortunately, the Cabinet Secretary didn’t give a guarantee about the Supporting People programme but said that he had listened to concerns ahead of the announcement on the draft budget on October 3rd.

Pictured: Rhun ap Iorwerth with Shian Thomas, Anglesey Project Manager and Sophie Haworth-Booth, North Wales Area Manager