14/03/17

Ben, a resident at our young persons project in Bridgend and currently on our WISE programme (Working in Sustainable Employment) got the chance to share his personal experience of homelessness with listeners of BBC Radio One who are currently doing a feature on Youth Homelessness.

WISE is a programme tailored to support our residents and service users back in to learning and employment and Ben is currently working with Policy and Communications at The Wallich to develop his skills.

Listen to the story and read his account of his interview with Cameron, a volunteer with NCS.

Ben’s story first aired on the R1 Breakfast Show yesterday and will be again on that show (6.30-10am) Friday 17th and on Greg James’ show (4-7pm) on Thursday 16th and Friday 17th.

“On the 24th of February 2017, I took the opportunity to go on BBC Radio 1 to tell my personal story about being homeless and how I ended up living in hostels in Bridgend.

When I was given the chance to do this interview I was delighted, and I took it with great enthusiasm. I am normally quite open about my story but this was a different ball-game. I would potentially be sharing quite a lot of personal information.

However, I decided to go along with it, as I felt it was important for people to know what it’s like to be on the streets. I also thought doing this would benefit the organisation.

Cameron, who was volunteering with the National Citizen Service (NCS), came all the way from Dorset to interview me about my struggles in the past. I was also going to talk about my participation in various Wallich schemes with a focus on employability.

He would also be interested in hearing about my efforts to grow as a person, and how homeless young people struggle every day. I was eager to give 12 million listeners an insight and awareness into what it’s like to be stuck inside the cracks in the system.

After the interview finished I felt really pleased for getting my story out there and to also take on role as ambassador for not only The Wallich, but for service users and the people who are still stranded on the streets today”.