The Centrepoint Parliament
The Centrepoint Parliament speaks up for homeless young people.
It gives young people the chance to have an influence within Centrepoint and government to help others like them. It is the only body in the UK that gives homeless young people a voice.
Take a look at this film to find out more about what the Parliament gets up to, and what it means to members:
Why is it needed?
Homelessness among young people is often a hidden issue. The Parliament exists to represent the experiences and voices of homeless young people. It aims to:
- Increase awareness and understanding of youth homelessness
- Help homeless young people achieve their potential
"When you're young and homeless, you
feel like you're alone, invisible and you don't have a voice"
How does it work?
There are ten Centrepoint Parliament members who represent the young people supported by Centrepoint. Elections take place every year in every area where there are services.
Young people from across Centrepoint stand for election with a manifesto explaining how they will represent their peers. Every young person has the opportunity to stand for election and to vote.
The Centrepoint Parliament at Parliament
What does it do?
Centrepoint Parliament members meet regularly to bring together the views of the young people they represent. They tackle issues within Centrepoint, improving the lives of their peers.
Events such as Speak Out are planned by the Parliament to make sure Centrepoint's young people can talk to senior staff about the challenges they face.
How does it help other homeless young people?
The Parliament aims to improve the lives of homeless young people around the UK by lobbying the government on the issues that affect them. It plans campaigns on education, employment and the benefits system to influence positive change for homeless young people.
What do young people think of the Parliament?
'Since being involved in the Centrepoint Parliament, I have gained new experiences and we have achieved so much as a group and individually. The Parliament is special because its young people generate the ideas and everything is carried out on an equal partnership with us.'
Earlier this year, we officially launched the Centrepoint Parliament at the House of Commons and it was a massive celebration with young people being praised for their achievements with the Parliament so far. We also challenged the government's decision to cut the EMA for young people and were pleased when they decided to ring-fence £15m for vulnerable young people as part of its replacement. So far, the Parliament has proved to be a huge success and there is still so much more yet to come. The future of Centrepoint is exciting!'
What else do Centrepoint young people get involved in?
Centrepoint also launched the Youth Educators Programme, where young people go into schools to talk about their experiences and challenge the stereotype of homelessness.
Pupils, aged 11 to 16, often leave sessions with more understanding of how and why young people become homeless, the struggles of homeless young people and, perhaps most importantly of all, that homeless young people are not that different to them.
Find out more here.