Lift CentrePoint's Guest Ban
Lift CentrePoint's Guest Ban
Living in Semi-Independent/ Supported Accommodation is difficult as it is. Many Young People are in different situations, for example:
Some young people have family abroad, some young people no longer have families, and some young people are under the care of the local authority (or Care Leavers). This means that a lot of young people rely on their friends for important social development. Due to government guidelines, we have not been allowed visitors like the rest of the world. Now as restrictions have been lifted, we get to watch the rest of the world return back to normality, as we suffer.
Social interaction is proven to be detrimental to anyone's wellbeing let alone the young people under these harsh circumstances. Mind.org Mental Health Charity states "There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world". Coming from a young person- it feels like because we have been dealt a lower hand in life, we are being punished.
To add on to this we are being told we can no longer have visitors under the false pretence that it is because of government guidelines, however the guidelines for "guidance for commissioners and providers of hostel services" state: "commissioners and providers should make an assessment on how their accommodation is able to meet current guidelines on social distancing, etc.". Meaning CentrePoint themselves have deemed the accommodation unfit for visitors.
In addition the "Guidance on Care Home visiting" website clearly expresses "visiting is a central part of care home life. It is crucially important for maintaining the health, wellbeing, and quality of life of residents". Moreover this same website confirms Care Home residents can "nominate up to 5 named visitors to enter the service for regular visits" but "can have no more than 2 visitors at a time ". In the eyes of many young people accommodated by CentrePoint, it seems unjust that accommodations of the same kind of settings have different rules.
On the one hand, you could argue that young people could go out to meet their friends and family. On the other hand, Centrepoint accommodates 16-25 year olds meaning the majority of the residents are adults, in result we have to pay for travel. This is a hurdle in our quality of life as, again, majority of young people are on Universal Credit. Currently the increased allowance (Due to Covid) is £342.72 per month. For example, my hostel service charge (not optional, pays for bills out of our monthly payment) is £75. This leaves us with £267 for food shopping, phone contracts, entertainment contracts(Amazon, Netflix), monthly Tv License, travel, and any other personal bills. Not to mention after August our Universal Credit allowance becomes £250 per month again.. So what could a young person actually do when they go out on this kind of budget?
Furthermore, we argue that the accommodation is fit for guests as the provider is not considering all options and resolutions. We have offered to do tests, we have offered to introduce track and trace, and even staggered visits among the household yet nothing has sufficed. We cease to understand why our mental health is not a priority amongst those who have a duty of care to us. It makes you wonder if the provider is fit to meet vital social rights.
To conclude this, young people under the care of CentrePoint, find it extremely unacceptable and not in their best interest to keep the visitor ban in place; when the rest of the world can develop in life as normal. Even then, that is for now, meaning if we go back into lockdown residents would not have even gotten the chance to live a normal life- even for a while. We have not had guests again since Dec 2020 yet Centrepoint have said they will only review our guest ban being lifted on June 21, not guaranteed it being lifted. This is extremely unfair and proves poor judgement as weddings and funerals can proceed as normal, pubs are operating, hotels are open... yet we are allowed no visitors?
If you have taken the time to read this, the young people at Centrepoint thank you for hearing out our difficulties faced in these rough and confusing times.