YMCA England & Wales and Vestey Holdings have launched a transformative long-term partnership to inspire future generations. The partnership will ensure young people have a safe place to call home and a platform for their voices to be heard, giving them a chance to discover who they are and what they can become.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis have taken their toll on young people, with 168 young people at risk of homelessness every day and just over 12% of those aged 18 to 24 not in education, employment, or training.

YMCA research has shown that ongoing pressures caused by the cost of living crisis have resulted in worsening mental health and halted aspirations for young people living in supported housing. Meanwhile, funding for youth services has been cut by 73% since 2010, at a time when young people are faced with navigating the biggest shift in how we live in decades.

Vestey Holdings, a fourth-generation family business dating back to the 1890s, will bring its resources and passion for investing in people and communities to support YMCA in realising a shared vision to see young people reach their full potential.

Our partnership will expand over time to impact the lives of young people in Scotland and then further afield in mainland Europe and beyond, reaching across Vestey Holdings and YMCA’s shared geographies to empower and inspire future generations, regardless of borders.

Staff at Vestey Holdings and its family of businesses will fundraise to provide 350 supported placements for young people in YMCA housing as part of YMCA’s Roomsponsor programme, providing a safe place to realise their potential, gain confidence and new skills, and find an onward path to independence.

Alongside this group-wide commitment as YMCA’s first Corporate Roomsponsor Partner, Vestey Holdings are also sponsoring YMCA’s Youth Ambassadors Programme, which provides young people with the skills, experience and confidence they need to speak out on behalf of their peers and effect meaningful change.

Youth Ambassadors help identify the barriers young people themselves face and articulate the issues they care about most, keeping young people at the heart of all that YMCA does. Furthermore, Vestey Holdings will sponsor YMCA’s annual Youth Services research and report in 2024.

Staff from across the group will also be involved with several YMCA fundraising initiatives, events and campaigns, support Youth Ambassadors in their training, and provide hands-on support in their local communities, volunteering with young people at local YMCAs.


Tim Harford, Head of Fundraising at YMCA England & Wales, says:
“We are thrilled to announce our new corporate partnership with Vestey Holdings and its family of businesses, who have joined the YMCA movement as our first Corporate Roomsponsor Partner. Our Roomsponsor programme offers vital support to thousands of young people each year, providing them with a safe place to stay and the tools they need to turn their lives around.

This partnership will be instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of reaching even more young people in communities where support is scarce. Together with Vestey Holdings, we are committed to empowering young people to belong, contribute and thrive.”