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Young Peoples Support Foundation



52 Oldham Street


M4 1LE

Tel: 0161 228 7654

Fax: 0161 236 5081


YPSF (Signpost)

St Andrew's Hall, Brownley Rd



M22 0DW

Tel: 0161 436 5432

Fax: 0161 437 1055


16/17 referral duty line

07961 586 822

9am to 5pm

Monday to Friday


Working with YPSF helped me to make a difference


Student social worker Bryony undertook a placement with YPSF in the final year of her degree. Now qualified and working full time as a support worker on YPSF’s 16/17 team, Bryony explains how taking part in YPSF’s student programme not only helped her gain the skills she needed for her career, but gave her a valuable insight into the lives of young people.

“I first heard about YPSF when I was looking for a placement during my third year as a student social worker,” explains Bryony. “I’d already worked with young people at a young person’s day centre and a supported accommodation project so I understood a bit about what was involved in providing support to people who’d experienced homelessness or uncertainty about their accommodation.

“I think it’s really important to be able to understand some of the issues young people are facing when they are homeless. Obviously, you can’t know what it’s like to be homeless if it hasn’t happened to you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t relate to young people and the situation they’re in. Rather than having been through a similar experience, it’s more about simply treating people as individuals and listening to their circumstances without prejudice. Some people will cope with their situation well but for others it’ll be a difficult and chaotic time, so I make sure I listen calmly and try not to be patronising, although that can be difficult when I’m trying to explain the legal side to someone who’s 16 or 17.

“Working with young people is both rewarding and challenging. I’ve met people I wouldn’t normally meet and worked with young people who’ve shown a huge amount of determination to help themselves out of the situation they’re in. Obviously there are some who may be suspicious at first and might not want to co-operate, but they’re very much in the minority.

"I would definitely recommend YPSF’s student programme to anyone who needs to find a placement of this type as part of their degree. There’s so much to do within the organisation and teams and because YPSF provides group work, advocacy and crisis intervention, students will always get a good rounded experience.

“I know it sounds clichéd but the best thing for me about taking part in the student programme, and now working here every day, is just knowing I’ve made a difference. People don’t realise how difficult it is to do the most basic things without having somewhere stable to live. You can’t work, go to college or get on with life; all the things people take for granted. When someone has been rough sleeping for weeks and then they finally get their own tenancy it’s really satisfying.

“One young man I worked with was particularly difficult to engage and had lots of problems, none of which were of his own making. He was too old to go into local authority care and was understandably upset because he received less support than his younger siblings. He’d been in an accommodation project but was very reluctant to get into education or do anything positive with his life but he was desperate for something to change.

"Shortly before my placement was due to finish, we got news that he’d been offered his own tenancy. Unfortunately though, he’d stopped coming into the YPSF drop-in so we couldn’t let him know, and I was desperately trying to get hold of him to give him the good news before I had to leave.

“Then, three days before my placement ended, I had a real Hollywood moment. Completely by chance, his brother came into the drop-in centre to attend one of the courses YPSF runs. I was able to give him the good news, and he called his brother straight away to let him know. Everyone was so happy to see him finally get some stability, and he’s since gone on to win an apprenticeship and really get his life back on track.

“That’s what working with YPSF does, whether it’s full time, as a student or as a volunteer; it gives you the opportunity to really change someone’s life for the better.” 

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