Bringing about real change in the community with ECYHT

Recently, Ben Toms of our Account Management team visited the East Cleveland Youth Housing Trust (ECYHT) to hand over a cheque for £19,990 from The DPS Fund, and find out more about how they used our award.

What is the East Cleveland Housing Trust?

ECYHT works to help young people improve their lives in the community through offering a diverse range of opportunities and experiences.

The aim of the Trust is to provide 16-25 year olds living in the rural communities of East Cleveland with:

  • A network of affordable, supported accommodation for young people who are in housing need;
  • Local training opportunities in the construction industry through the renovation of empty properties and other community work; and
  • Opportunities for personal development and support to develop life and social skills


Account Manager Ben Toms (right) presents Andy Pettersen of ECYHT with the cheque

Account Manager Ben Toms (right) presents Andy Pettersen of ECYHT with the cheque

The Trust is developing in response to an identified need to tackle youth unemployment and lack of affordable housing. ECYHT sees itself as a solution to some of the training and housing issues that face young people who are at risk of becoming the most disadvantaged members of the community.

Naturally such noble causes are at the heart of everything The DPS Fund stands for, and we’re thrilled to know such innovative and community-spirited work is going on; not only to solve people’s housing problems, but also to work in overcoming their personal ones.

What did they do with their donation?

The ECYHT team renovated the Crown pub in Brotton, North Yorkshire, and used our award to complete the project. Now it’s finished, the property houses four new tenants.


The finished property

The finished property

Each tenant will receive regular one-to-one support from their Tenancy Support Worker, who will help them develop their financial knowledge, as well as reduce any isolation they’re feeling, and assist with emotional guidance. In turn, this will help them to have a successful tenancy, and ultimately empower them to take control of their lives.

Rents are set at an affordable level so that when a tenant moves into work and comes off benefits, they’ll be able to keep their home based on the national minimum wage.

What’s special about the renovation?

This is community spirit with a difference. The renovation provided construction-based employment and training opportunities to local people, in order to give them valuable experience, and thereby improve their employability and self-confidence.

Throughout the course of the project, it:

  • Generated over 12,500 hours of construction training and education
  • Created 7 apprenticeship positions
  • Became a place of work for 17 volunteers offering between 3 days and 5 months of their time
  • Delivered pre-tenancy work to 8 young people looking for affordable housing

Andy Pettersen, Social Business Manager at ECYH, said: “What an amazing contribution. Every penny has moved us closer to completing the largest housing project we've ever taken on.

“The apprenticeships we offer help prepare young people for the transition into the world of work. They provide NVQs in construction and ensure that essential Maths and English qualifications are gained, at a level of C grade or above. Further to this we offer a variety of certified courses such as First Aid, Health & Safety and Asbestos Awareness.

“Our focus is on helping to prevent homelessness and addressing young adults leaving care. The most common issues ECYHT are approached for help with are financial, employment based, associated with health and well-being matters or a mixture of these issues.

“The size of this project will increase ECYHT's capacity to train and accommodate disadvantaged young people. As well as this; the project will recycle and preserve existing housing stock, and reduce anti-social behaviour such as vandalism, graffiti and fly tipping. By doing this we are helping to create a more safe and secure neighbourhood and promoting pride in the local community.”

We’re delighted to be able to help get this valuable project over the line, and we’ll be sure to return to North Yorkshire in the future to find out how our donation is continuing to help young people in need.

Want to know more?

Look at this in-depth summary of how the project developed over the last 18 months.