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Y-Base Magazine created for you, by you ONE

Spring 09

Designed and produced by YMCA England in partnership with the National Tenant Forum.


Helloooo to you

If you’ re living in YMCA England housing then Y-Base is the place for you.


But Y-Base is more than just another youth magazine, because you’re going to make it happen. Each edition will be created for you, by you, making sure the articles in it contain the stuff you want to read. And there’s another bonus: it gives you the chance to show us and the world your creative talents, while learning new skills at the same time.

Sound good? We think so.


How it all began


So how did it all start? At the end of 2008, YMCA England’s Housing Department started a National Tenant Forum. The group, consisting of young people from all over England who currently live in YMCA England accommodation, meets together to discuss issues related to YMCA housing, giving young people a say in what improvements need to be made. How can I have my say on housing issues? If you’re currently living in YMCA England accommodation, you could join the National Tenant Forum and tell us what we need to be doing to make your stay better. You voice will be at the heart of YMCA housing, making sure your needs are a priority every step of the way.

What will I get out of it? Joining the National Tenant Forum can open up loads of opportunities. Not only will your voice be heard concerning your YMCA’s facilities; you will also be able to influence the future work of YMCA England across the country. The YMCA even offers training so you can learn about the mysteries of social housing and develop a whole range of new skills. Drop Jenny an email at and she can give you all the information you need. You can also check out the website at


How it all began


So where does the magazine come in? We believe Y-Base shouldn’t just be about telling what’s going on. It should also be a space where can tell how your YMCA is doing: what’s going well, and where it can improve.



you us

How do I get involved? If you want to be involved in Y-Base, you can join our Editorial Team or simply submit photos or articles for future editions. Give me (Sally) a shout at and we can have a chat about what you’d like to do. How will it work? If you do decide to join our Editorial Team, you will play a major role in creating each issue of Y-Base; gathering stories, writing articles, taking photos and providing input on the look and feel. Eventually, we hope the Editorial Team will also elect a Youth Editor who will be responsible for coordinating the work of the Editorial Team. And if that all sounds a bit daunting, don’t worry, my colleague Ben and I will be on hand to guide you through the entire process.

What can I get out of it? We wouldn’t want you to spend loads of time and effort on a project without getting something in return. If you decide to become a contributor to Y-Base, you’ll have solid evidence of your creative work in print for others to see. It’s also a brilliant way to develop skills in writing, photography and reporting. And if you become a member of the Y-Base Editorial Team, there’s an added bonus. We may be able to arrange with your YMCA to provide Youth Achievement Awards (or equivalent), helping you to build your experience in communications and publishing. So what are you waiting for? Join the Y-Base team and put your creative skills to use.

It’s your future: make it happen.




t u o b a e r a c y , o S r u o y f o y t li a u q e h t h o u s in g s e r v ic e ? Well for one, nobody wants run-down buildings, damp walls and ancient computers. In other words, if you feel your YMCA isn’t up to scratch, why keep quiet?

Recently, nearly 300 of you did just the opposite by filling in our Satisfaction Survey. By telling us what you thought, we were able to get a good idea of where improvements are needed.

So what did the survey reveal? of you

Over of you find

don’t like

YMCA staff helpful

your communal areas

like the quality of your housing

Agree? Disagree?

of you don’t think your voice is heard

If you’ve had a negative experience, make sure you have your say by using the complaints process at your YMCA.








Your feed back, our performance


How are we doing? During the year we collect data which tells us if we’re meeting the standards expected by you and our regulators (the Tenant Services Authority). ●

Our service standards feature in our Residents’ Charter, which can be found on posters around your YMCA, in your residents’ handbook and on our website.

We set ourselves targets as one way to measure whether we are meeting the Charter. We call these Key Performance Indicators [KPIs].

Repairs We partly measure our repairs performance by the percentage completed within target times. We aim for: - All emergency repairs (100%) to be completed within 24 hours; - All urgent repairs (100%) to be completed within 5 working days; - All routine repairs (100%) to be completed within

These KPIs let you know how we’re doing. They also give you a chance to challenge us if you think we can do better. A taster is shared below. You will also find a full report (updated to the end of December 2008) on the website in early February.

We’re not qu ite meeting th ese targets yet – but the perform ance is improvin g and satisfactio n from those who have fed back th is year is 99% .

28 working days.

Rent Arrears We measure unpaid rent and service charges as a percentage of ‘gross annual rent debit’. This is the maximum amount of money we would be entitled to if all the rooms were fully occupied the whole year. We aim for a total of 6%, broken down as follows: - Money owed by residents still living at the YMCA to be no more than 4% of annual rent debit. - Money owed by former residents who have moved on to be no more than 2% of annual rent debit.

So far this year we’re not meeting these targets, with nearly 10% overdue.

By paying your rent on time, you help us rd continue to provide an affo se tho to ice serv sing able hou touch who need it. Please get in having with local staff if you are problems paying rent.

Tenant Satisfaction Aside from the annual survey, we also monitor your satisfaction levels in relation to some things on a monthly basis. Some of our targets are: - All applicants – whether refused or accepted as new residents – to be satisfied with our applications procedure. - At least 8 in 10 residents who have repairs done to be completely satisfied with our service, in terms of speed and quality of the completed repair. So far this year, your feedback says we’re meeting - All residents who make a complaint to be satisfied with these targets. Thanks to the 1 in 3 of you who have been returning our complaints procedure and for at least 8 in 10 to be would love to hear from happy with the final outcome, i.e. what we did about it. feedback forms this year. We

the rest of you as well. If you would prefer to, give your views in person to a staff member, or email us:

Y-Base Magazine, issue 1 (Spring 2009)  
Y-Base Magazine, issue 1 (Spring 2009)  

Y-Base is the magazine created by and for young people living in YMCA England accommodation.