Easy Peasy Pods – YMCA Suffolk

Easy Peasy Pods, YMCA Suffolk – WINNER

We offer supported accommodation to young parents and know how hard it is being homeless – a real issue for parents who face their child being taken into care.

However, living in a hostel environment takes its toll on the young parents and they feel they have no sense of belonging. To support young parents, we launched the Easy Peasy Pods programme which develops social and educational needs through a home learning environment and makes living in supported accommodation with a child more rewarding.

Each six week programme focuses on activities around a book, including outdoor play, singing, dancing and more.

There is also an opportunity within the year for participants to attend paediatric first aid training.

Each parent and child receives a fun resource pack which includes a book, activity ideas and sensory activities for those who are younger. We believe by providing parents with a pack they will be able to use to continue to engage their child in learning right through nursery and primary school.

The outcome of the project helps to develop a positive home learning environment. We have seen so many parents and children benefiting from the programme and it is lovely to see them engaging and socialising together.

Housing for Young Workers – YMCA North Staffs

Housing for Young Workers, YMCA North Staffordshire – FINALIST

One of the fundamental requirements for a young person to develop and flourish is the security of a home. Locally, as reflected across the country, we understood the difficulty young people were facing as they attempt to secure and sustain longer-term housing in Stoke on Trent.

Therefore, we decided to develop a portfolio of affordable housing for young workers’ in the city. Many young people we engage with do not have the financial support from parents or others and this acts as a significant barrier which stalls move on plans from our supported accommodation service.

These financial barriers include the challenge of saving sufficient funds for the initial deposit in the private rented sector. In addition, young people were being additionally burdened by the high charges applied by letting agents and insecure or short-term tenancies left them concerned that at any point they could again be left at risk.

With the support of Stoke-on-Trent City Council, we purchased and refurbished four terraced properties and in 2016/17 we purchased a further six properties.

Due to high demand, we have plans to significantly expand this stock over the coming years with a vision to become known as the ‘go to lettings agency’ for young, low-paid workers in the city.

UASC – YMCA Suffolk

UASC, YMCA Suffolk – FINALIST

YMCA Suffolk supports unaccompanied asylum seeker children (UASC) aged 16-18. Newly arrived in the UK, it is important that we integrate them into the fantastic local community.

They are housed in a number of YMCA houses and at YMCA Suffolk’smain accommodation in Ipswich. Our aim is to support up to 40 young people within three to four bedroom houses in the community.

We support them to live within the community, working to grow independent living skills, so they can start to build a future for themselves. YMCA Suffolk enables them to live in a safe and secure environment where they are given the opportunity to thrive. When they come to us at YMCA, we support them to attend education, health and wellbeing appointments, pursue hobbies and interests and access opportunities and services within the community.

The UASC that live at YMCA come to the UK seeking safety from violence, persecution, fear, poverty and exploitation. These children have fled their homes, where they have been denied there basic human rights, risking their lives on the often long and perilous journey to the UK. They arrive in the hope to live in safety away from war and suffering and we are proud to provide housing and support that enables this to happen.

Badger Court, YMCA Black Country

Badger Court, YMCA Black Country Group

Badger Court has been awarded a Chief Constables Community Award from West Midlands Police for their prevention and intervention work with vulnerable young people over the last 18 months. This is a prestigious award and we are very proud that the hard work of the service is being recognised.

In addition, one of our Key Support Workers Kate Hinsley has also been personally recognised for her work on Operation Semper, set up to tackle Child Sexual Exploitation and the safeguarding of young vulnerable people. She also received a Chief Constables Award. The ceremony was held on 20 June.

We are very proud of all the staff in the Wolverhampton Housing Pathway who go above and beyond in their roles, showing commitment, dedication and passion for the young people they work with.