Lisa's story - appeal banner
Lisa and her keyworker

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Help give a young person the care, support and education they need to transform their life and follow their dreams.

Gifts like yours not only help vulnerable young people get off the streets, they help them dare to dream of a better future – and give them the tools, support and care they need to make those dreams come true. Thank you.

Lisa was just 17 and in a very bad way when she first came to YMCA

Her traumatic home life with her mum, who suffers from severe mental health issues, had become unbearable and led her to becoming homeless. She’d spent two nights huddled under a motorway flyover and was exhausted and clearly very distressed.

Thankfully, we were able to give Lisa a bed and introduce her to her keyworker, Sam. During their first meeting, they talked about Lisa’s tough time with her family and about how she hoped to address the reasons she had become homeless. Sam said: “When Lisa first came to us she was very fragile, broken really. She didn’t want to leave home, but nothing was improving.”

But during the course of that conversation, Lisa also started to talk about something she’d all but given up on: her dream of becoming a primary school teacher.

During the months Lisa’s been with us we’ve given her a bed and essentials, and arranged counselling to help her address her anxiety and depression. But crucially, we’ve also helped her get a place at a local college. She’s studying Science, English and her favourite subject: Creative Writing. In the time that she’s been with us, Lisa’s really come on leaps and bounds. She’s happier and her confidence has returned. She’s really blossomed and feels better equipped to follow her dreams.

What Lisa’s achieved has been incredible – but it wouldn’t have been possible without your support. And with a staggering 40% increase in the number of young people forced to sleep rough in some parts of the country, we need your help now more than ever.

*Lisa’s story is true, but we have changed her name and used a model to protect her identity.

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