EFFORTS to tackle the problem of homelessness among young people by the Vale council have been rewarded.

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s homelessness prevention scheme has been shortlisted for the UK Housing Awards’ “Homelessness Project of the Year”.

The award comes off the back of a collaboration between Llamau, Wales’ leading homelessness charity, and the council’s Housing Solutions and Social Services departments.

The scheme is designed to reconnect young people with their parents, schools, and caregivers, and help them make a positive transition into adulthood.

The council’s “Young Persons Gateway”, facilitated by its "Supporting People" team, offers a more straightforward route into supported accommodation and streamlines the process of application, referral and assessment.

Llamau’s “One Stop Advice Shop”, provides a mediation service to help young people reconnect with families, support them in new accommodation and help access benefits.

Cllr Andrew Parker, cabinet member for Housing and Building Services for the Vale council, said: “Homeless young people have different needs to adults, ones that can, at first, be hidden or linked to disadvantaged childhoods or adverse childhood experiences.

“That is why our project has a broad range of advice and support on offer – to ensure that the applicant receives support tailored to their individual needs.

“We’ve worked hard to forge relationships across the authority while also communicating with external companies like Careers Wales to help with access to education and employment for young people.”

Joe Payne, Head of Bridgend, Cardiff and Vale Services and Family Mediation for Llamau, said: "I am incredibly proud of Llamau’s fundamental role in the partnership-driven approach to youth homelessness prevention that characterises the Vale model.

“Early intervention work and family mediation will prevent homelessness wherever possible and seeks maintaining young people in their home environment.

"The whole approach seeks to bring about the best possible outcomes for young people in the Vale."

More than 150,000 people under the age of 25 ask for help with homelessness in the UK every year. An estimated 7000 are in Wales.

If you or someone you know is young and at risk of becoming homeless, contact 01446 748852.