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Old 21.09.2018, 18:56
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Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Right, here's the situation then I wonder if anyone has creative ideas:


French friends have known for 30 odd years, lovely couple, have their 21 year old son who could not stand the French university system and only had one dream, to go and live in Britain. I don't know which website he's used, but on the premise of a job as a waiter he landed a week ago in Birmingham, having left everything behind (including his studies).
The job offer not surprisingly turned out to be a scam.


He left with 200 quid of his own money, found a room in the youth hostel and has been trying in vain to find a handy job (any job) but was rejected every time for not having a NI number nor a permanent address. Soon by next week he'll have run out of money.


His parents are in a right state and are begging him to come home to at least prepare a better stay in England, which he refuses to do, claiming he wants to earn his freedom and independence...funny, it reminds me of myself at his age, I did sleep rough for a few nights at least!


Anyway, tried everything, all the sites for finding cheap shared accommodation, au pair adverts, he went to shops, restaurants, pubs... nothing for reasons stated above. Apart from being a nave idiot, he is a lovely kid, hard working, helpful and polite. He just won't bulge about going back to France. His parents are (rightly) worried that as from next week he'll be sleeping rough or falling into the wrong hands.


Ideas? Suggestions? I feel totally powerless and while I understand the kid's motives, I cannot stand to see the state his parents are in.
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Old 21.09.2018, 19:27
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Figure out a way to keep paying his cellphone. It's only going to get worse if he can't even call to give in and say "I want to come home."

Me? I'd be in the car, timed to arrive the day after the money runs out, or if I knew that he was in relatively safe surroundings... a week.

Perhaps I'm a softy.
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Old 21.09.2018, 19:44
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Can I copy this on another platform? I know a few people in the area and it's possible that some of them might be able to help.
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Old 21.09.2018, 19:52
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

well if he's determined to stay, then I'd be making sure he has information to allow him to work. Likely he doesn't know (being 21) and employers are rightly a bit cautious on this stuff.

If he's an EU or Swiss citizen, he can work without an NI Number (must apply for one, but can work while it goes through the process):

direct link for checking "can I work without an NI number": https://www.gov.uk/legal-right-work-uk

how to get an NI number
https://www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number


If he can't get a job without a mailing address, then he (his parents) could sign him up for a mail-receiving service. Bit like the services people in CH often use to give an address in Germany / France for receiving things that don't ship outside the EU. A couple of (randomly googled) links:
https://www.mbe.co.uk/mailbox/faqs (has one in Birmingham)
https://www.ukpostbox.com/#Features (street address is London, might confuse an employer)


Would he consider attending a UK university and continuing his education? Might be an acceptable compromise for him and his parents? Possibly too late for this study year, but term doesn't start for a couple of weeks, so maybe worth a try?
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Old 21.09.2018, 20:17
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

He’s 21. He’ll get by, I lived in Birmingham for many years and the people are just lovely... better he’s there than London. He know’s what he wants, I can’t see he will have problems. Please keep us updated, I would be prepared to help with others, we could load up a pre-pay Visa card and get it to him.
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Old 21.09.2018, 20:52
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Encourage him to make a couchsurfing profile. Not just a shell, but with something about who he really is and what interests him, but still taking sensible care of his privacy (so as not to fall for another scam). If he reads lots of profiles, he'll get the idea.

Next, suggest that he looks for "parent" or "grandparent" type couchsurfing hosts, as these may have a room from which their own young adult child has flown. After a day or two's recovery, he could ask them for advice, and they may help him find a job enough to pay for food.
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Old 21.09.2018, 20:54
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

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Originally Posted by Hausamsee View Post
Hes 21. Hell get by, I lived in Birmingham for many years and the people are just lovely... better hes there than London. He knows what he wants...
If he was 15/16 I'd be dead worried - but at 21- he should be able to sort himself out ...
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Old 21.09.2018, 20:56
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

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Originally Posted by JagWaugh View Post
Perhaps I'm a softy.
Mr. or Ms. Softy?

Tom
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Old 21.09.2018, 20:56
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

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Originally Posted by Odile View Post
If he was 15/16 I'd be dead worried - but at 21- he should be able to sort himself out ...
Oh, I don't know about that, Odile. Maybe he "should" be able to sort himself out, but whether he actually can, that's another matter. Looking back... oh, well, let's just say I can think of a number of 21-year-olds who got themselves into difficult circumstances after having bitten off more than they could chew.
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Old 21.09.2018, 21:33
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Of course , I know quite a few too - but can parents or anyone else really do anything - apart from having the door open for if and when (as I did for our daughters) ... after just a few weeks - you have to give him a chance to sort himself out somehow- and be there with the net, just in case ...
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Old 21.09.2018, 21:58
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Not sure what they are worth..


Student jobs

https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Mercure...all-Hotel/jobs

https://www.studentjob.co.uk/part-time-job/birmingham

https://www.studentjob.co.uk/vacanci...our-birmingham

Indeed.co.uk
search function: student


Oh my word, as a mamma I'd be on a plane so fast..
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Old 21.09.2018, 22:58
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

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Originally Posted by Dougal's Breakfast View Post
Can I copy this on another platform? I know a few people in the area and it's possible that some of them might be able to help.


Desperate situation calls for desperate measures! Any help is help, so yes please!
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Old 21.09.2018, 23:01
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hausamsee View Post
Hes 21. Hell get by, I lived in Birmingham for many years and the people are just lovely... better hes there than London. He knows what he wants, I cant see he will have problems. Please keep us updated, I would be prepared to help with others, we could load up a pre-pay Visa card and get it to him.

Thanks a lot. I think a roof over his head would be the top priority. Scarier for his parents than for him, I think.
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Old 21.09.2018, 23:03
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Go couchsurfing. It can be impressively quick, especially if his profile is working, and he is basically likeable and helpful.

You could help him do that by registering yourself, and doing all the research to find safe places amongst possible hosts, and then sending him the links to their profiles, so he can make the requests himself.

It is free.
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Old 21.09.2018, 23:05
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

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Originally Posted by doropfiz View Post
Oh, I don't know about that, Odile. Maybe he "should" be able to sort himself out, but whether he actually can, that's another matter. Looking back... oh, well, let's just say I can think of a number of 21-year-olds who got themselves into difficult circumstances after having bitten off more than they could chew.


I think he got quite a sheltered life, despite being into scouts and "roughing it in the woods" in summer camps, but that's different altogether, I don't think he is very street wise, he is a nature lad.
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Old 21.09.2018, 23:13
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

I am missing one bit of the puzzle as to why he left so suddenly when the family is so close-knit. I suspect a fall out about his studies. He is like a French Harry Potter, thinking everyone is nice out there, which I think is the reason why his parents are worried sick that he may end in the wrong hands.
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Old 21.09.2018, 23:14
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Is he dead set on Brum, or will anywhere in England do?
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Old 21.09.2018, 23:28
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Rattle rattle inbox.

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Old 22.09.2018, 06:56
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

Why haven't the parents gone to England to find out what is going on?
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Old 22.09.2018, 08:28
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Re: Friend's lad did a runner to...Birmingham of all places!

At age 21, he probably wants freedom - perhaps from his parents too. With both my kids, i feel thet 'teen attitude' now comes a few years delayed.

The most important thing is to stay in touch - keep his cellphone loaded, as other have suggested, Also ensure a roof over his head. Chances are he wont take money from the parents. So... would he take a VERY FORMALLY LAID OUT IN BLACK & WHITE loan? The important thing i feel is not to try and crush his 'ego', or wait for the world to do it - but in fact work with it.

I believe it was Mark Twain who once said : At 17, I found in my father one of the most insufferable of fools. I was amazed at the amount of wisdom he picked up in four years.

Add the delay, and Bobs your uncle.
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