Volunteers are being sought for SBC homelessness pilot project

SCOTTISH Borders Council is looking for volunteers for a pilot project to support young people who are homeless or under threat of becoming homeless.

The new peer mentoring service is being co-ordinated by SBC’s homelessness services team with the aim of increasing the life skills of young homeless clients and therefore the sustainability of what could be their first experience of independent living.

With young homeless people making up around a third of homeless cases both in the Borders and throughout Scotland, Elaine Torrance, acting director of social work welcomed the initiative, saying: “We already know the benefits of this approach from the highly successful peer mentoring service provided for young care leavers through the Albert Place supported accommodation service.

“I have no doubt that Insight will develop into an equally valuable resource for vulnerable young people across the Borders and would encourage anyone with a few hours to spare to get in touch with the team.”

For more information, please contact the homelessness services team on 01896 661385. Volunteers will be required to undergo full disclosure checks but training and support will be provided and expenses paid.

Latest Scottish Government figures show that homelessness levels have dropped by around a fifth in the past year - 45,322 applications made by people wishing to register as homeless, down 19% on the previous year.

The Scottish Government said that a scheme which allows local authorities to refocus services was having an impact.

Housing Minister Keith Brown said: “This reflects the commitment shown by local authorities and their partners to move to a focus on prevention rather than just reacting to people becoming homeless. We will continue to drive forward that process to ensure that we can continue to make real reductions in the number of people being made homeless in Scotland.”