SHAX is a local charity and social enterprise which supports people in crisis from homelessness and/or poverty. SHAX gives practical support at their time of greatest need, providing emergency household Starter Packs to help people move on from homeless accommodation to a new permanent tenancy. SHAX also has a Homemaker Scheme for referral clients, which lets them buy donated furniture and white goods at minimal cost, with a jointly agreed repayment period. Using donations from local people, SHAX diverts unwanted household items from landfill.
The Holywood Trust funded SHAX to continue this crucial support in 2018-19, in addition to developing our volunteering programme. Volunteers are central to SHAX’s services, which we simply could not deliver without them. Most of our volunteers are young people, including those furthest removed from the labour market. They often need additional support at the start of their placement with us. We also work with local secondary schools to support pupils not in mainstream education.
With the Holywood Trust’s support, we have from April 2018:
Supported 172 men, women and children in crisis, including:
• 2 expectant mothers
• 24 young people aged 15-25, and
• 46 children
Provided 11 new and 3 existing volunteer/work placement opportunities for young people aged 15-25, including 2 volunteering opportunities for under 15s.
3 of the young people were in school – 1 under 15 volunteer completed a 4-week work experience placement; another other returned to school and the third continues to volunteer with us (attending with support)
Of the 14 volunteers aged 15-25:
• 8 continue to volunteer with us
• 2 have moved on to employment at SHAX (as Modern Apprentice Admin Assistant and Community Jobs Scotland Warehouse Assistant)
• One moved on to college
• One passed the electrical PAT testing course

We also provided volunteering opportunities for partner agencies including Dumfries & Galloway Council CYPPL and Helping Hands and Step Together, enabling a further 7 young people to gain work experience and social skills.

Here’s what some of our young volunteers think about their time with SHAX:
“I like it here, there’s lots of things to try out”
“The SHAX team are very friendly, I’m looking forward to learning more about electrical items”

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