‘Loneliness and isolation were the worst’, says charity boss after homeless challenge

This Is Lancashire: Maura Jackson in the accommodation for the homeless Maura Jackson in the accommodation for the homeless

THE boss of a housing charity who lived for five days as a homeless young person is already working on bringing in changes to the way the charity operates — based on her experiences.

Maura Jackson, the director of Bolton Young Person’s Housing Scheme (BYPHS), based at Trinity House, Breightmet Street, decided to embark on the challenge in an attempt to learn more about what a young person living in one of the charity’s temporary flats has to go through.

The challenge, which was laid down by one of the charity’s beneficiaries, left her with just £40 to spend over the five days — as if she was living on benefits.

Ms Jackson’s said: “Already we have had an annual meeting of trustees and staff and I was able to feed back what I have learnt during the challenge.

“Amongst a number of things we want to do is provide free launderette services so young people can wash their clothes and feel better about themselves and also to provide free starter packs for the kitchen and for cleaning.

“We are also planning more fundraising activities so we can offer more things for the young people to do — because for me the isolation, loneliness and boredom were the worst things.

“I was surprised by how badly the boredom affected me, it left me feeling lethargic and down — so we are already looking at providing more drop in sessions to help with that.”

Ms Jackson’s challenge got off to a bad start when she realised the gas meter had been capped — meaning there was no heating or hot water available. She was forced to use 18 kettles to wash herself.

Ms Jackson has been asking for donations to go towards the BYPHS emergency fund and has so far raised £700, which could rise when Gift Aid is added in.

She said: “I am so glad I did it — it has really given me time to think and I am more determined than ever to improve the experiences of young people in the scheme.”

Comments (7)

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10:16am Wed 5 Mar 14

MarkAllRead says...

I don't want to seem like a hater, but 5 days? Not even a week? Loneliness and isolation after a few days?
I don't want to seem like a hater, but 5 days? Not even a week? Loneliness and isolation after a few days? MarkAllRead
  • Score: 2

10:39am Wed 5 Mar 14

steveG says...

MarkAllRead wrote:
I don't want to seem like a hater, but 5 days? Not even a week? Loneliness and isolation after a few days?
I thought the same.Would have given it at least two years to get a fuller understanding of the plight of the homeless.
[quote][p][bold]MarkAllRead[/bold] wrote: I don't want to seem like a hater, but 5 days? Not even a week? Loneliness and isolation after a few days?[/p][/quote]I thought the same.Would have given it at least two years to get a fuller understanding of the plight of the homeless. steveG
  • Score: 1

10:45am Wed 5 Mar 14

Tim Burr says...

It's easily done MarkAllRead. Somebody steps out of what was an 'interactive' life where you're engaging with people to silence effectively. No contact, no noise and you're probably feeling down to begin with.
I was critical of Maura first time round until she began to explain what the original story had missed and have become a fan of the work they're trying to achieve. She's obviously used her experience well, implementing ideas most take for granted in day to day life. I'm looking forward to the day she announces more educational factors, such as budgeting and my hobby horse! Being taught to cooki from scratch on a budget.
It's easily done MarkAllRead. Somebody steps out of what was an 'interactive' life where you're engaging with people to silence effectively. No contact, no noise and you're probably feeling down to begin with. I was critical of Maura first time round until she began to explain what the original story had missed and have become a fan of the work they're trying to achieve. She's obviously used her experience well, implementing ideas most take for granted in day to day life. I'm looking forward to the day she announces more educational factors, such as budgeting and my hobby horse! Being taught to cooki from scratch on a budget. Tim Burr
  • Score: 9

11:19am Wed 5 Mar 14

Jim271 says...

Many people who work for a living after paying all their bills off only have about £40 a week to live off.

Too many people, not enough work is the problem in this country.
Many people who work for a living after paying all their bills off only have about £40 a week to live off. Too many people, not enough work is the problem in this country. Jim271
  • Score: 9

12:16pm Wed 5 Mar 14

hoping4peace says...

5 days? i,d enjoy the peace and quiet to be honest!
but seriously, well done to her for highlighting the problems of the homeless,

any help thats received has got to be a good thing surely
5 days? i,d enjoy the peace and quiet to be honest! but seriously, well done to her for highlighting the problems of the homeless, any help thats received has got to be a good thing surely hoping4peace
  • Score: 7

1:50pm Wed 5 Mar 14

hal pel says...

Who owns the properties that BYPHS offer as temporary accommodation?
Who owns the properties that BYPHS offer as temporary accommodation? hal pel
  • Score: 1

6:29pm Fri 14 Mar 14

big barbara says...

Well done Maura
Well done Maura big barbara
  • Score: 1

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