It is humbling to hear the words "if it wasn’t for Amber I don’t think I’d be alive today" yet they are words we hear far too often. Amber has been helping homeless unemployed young people since 1995 to transform their lives from one of chaos and living on benefits to one of responsibility and work. Young lives that have missed out on education, been affected by drugs, alcohol, broken homes or been involved in crime.
Young people like Darren who was kicked out of home and sleeping on a park bench and Rachel who had a history of drug addiction and drug related crime. Darren is now a Duty Manager at a leisure centre and Rachel works as an administrator in a local company. "Words can do little to express the gratitude my wife and I feel towards your organisation" wrote Rachel’s parents.
Amber has three residential centres where young people have the chance to sort out their problems and develop the confidence, practical skills and qualifications they need to get a job or place at college and their own accommodation. We focus on practical teaching, responsibility, respect, setting goals and working to achieve them, and on helping to address all their problems as opposed to concentrating on any one particular issue. There is no set time that they stay with us as everyone progresses at there own pace but it is about six months.
While at Amber young people, known as Amberteers, take part in a range of activities and training tailored to their individual needs. They gain qualifications in literacy and numeracy, teamwork and tenancy issues, they help with community projects, they do sport and art and music, they help with environmental projects on our canal boat, they do the cooking and general maintenance in the house and very importantly, they learn to respect and support each other which is just as valuable as the more practical skills we teach.
Amber helps around 180 disadvantaged young people a year to transform their lives and every year around 80% successfully do so.