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Youth work Health and wellbeing Training and education Accommodation Support and advice Family work


Welcome 3 Our mission


Working together


Accommodation 6 Support and advice


Health and wellbeing


Training and education


Family work


Celebrating our work


Finance 28 Where we work


Welcome! YMCA is the world’s largest and oldest young people’s charity. Here in west London we have been part of the community, supporting young people for nearly 150 years. This report provides an insight into the work we do and the people we work with. We believe that every young person should be able to fulfil their potential and our work is designed to support them to do just that. Whilst we are proud of our own work, the credit goes to the young people themselves. The case studies in the report show you some of the journeys these young people have been on. The stories demonstrate that, given the right opportunities, young people can transform their circumstances. There is no single solution to some of the challenges young people face and so we offer a diverse range of support to a very diverse group of service users. We are always grateful to our volunteers, contributors, partners and stakeholders for their generous and continued support. In these austere times we receive less public funding and so rely heavily on community support for our work. We hope the stories you read about here inspire you to support us further. Kevin Lowry

Ian North

Interim Chief Executive Chair of the Board



Developing opportunities that transform young lives

OUR CHRISTIAN BASIS The mission of YMCA West London is founded on our commitment to our Christian faith, values and ethos. We aspire to be an inclusive Christian movement working with young people and communities to inspire, enable and empower them to belong, contribute and thrive. We seek to put our mission into practice through service to others in our activities, through our values and also through our ethos of:

PEOPLE Conducting relationships in the ways that Jesus taught

PRAYER Christians associated with YMCA West London commit to pray for the work and the people

PASSION Reflecting Christ’s passion for the world through our passion for our work.


Inspiring work every day YMCA is the largest and oldest charity working with young people in the world. Across England and Wales, we run as a federation with 133 local YMCAs working independently. YMCA West London has been transforming young lives since 1870. Over 160 staff in

We work with the Customer Employment Partnership to employ staff who want to use their experience of homelessness services to help others. Over 11% of our staff have

experienced homelessness themselves.

Working together

9 supported housing

Thank you so much for all your support in the last year. Thank you from all of us who work and volunteer at YMCA West London, and thanks especially from the 600 young people whose lives were impacted by your contribution. Every month around 30 volunteers work 500 hours, which is worth £3,500!

Not just housing the homeless We provide 388 homes, 23 supported lodgings placements & nearly 2500 support hours a week.

Thanks to our volunteers, partner churches, charitable trusts and funders, partner agencies, statutory and voluntary, and individuals. Without you, we just wouldn’t be able to do everything we do.

projects, children’s & youth programmes across 4 London Boroughs.

Getting young lives on track

We help young people locally to achieve as well as those we house. This year our Get on Track

Programme at @fusion,

63 to gain qualifications, 40 to get jobs, 7 to move into education & 11 into has enabled


Apart from cash donations, there are all kinds of other ways you can support us. You could hold a sponsored sleep out or join our Sleep Easy event, or put on a fundraising event like a coffee morning or car boot sale. Or volunteer. And, our YMCA charity shop in West Ealing always needs donations and helpers. If you’d like to find out more about how you can help our young people, please contact our Communications team on 020 8832 1572, or email 5


We believe that every young person should have a safe place to stay. Young people become homeless through family breakdown, unemployment, lack of education, disability, crime. We provide emergency beds to longer term supported living, in nine housing projects. We nurture young people through body, mind and spirit to help them realise their full potential.

LOCAL PROVIDER OF CHOICE This year the West London Alliance selected YMCA West London as a top provider, based on quality and value for money - and our good outcomes for young people.

As a response this year we have restructured our housing team in order to improve our frontline services with greater efficiency and less resources.

As a result we have secured contract extensions for housing support.

Our supported housing projects in South Ealing and Harrow are both accredited by the Foyer Federation. They are recognised as delivering transformational programmes and learning with a ‘life coaching’ approach, in a safe, qualitity assured environment.

West London framework - we’re rated 1st out of 3 of 4 tranches.

But our external environment is changing. We face funding cuts in housing related support, declining revenues in rents, and welfare benefit reforms - yet the support needs of our clients have continued to rise. We need to deliver more and better services with less funding.


BETTER HOMES It’s been a year of builders, drilling, banging, dust and disruption in YMCA West London – South Ealing. The result is a modern, light building with attractive, flexible spaces. It creates better opportunities for young homeless 18 – 35 year olds to live, work, socialise, and develop the skills they need to move on to independent living.

We support 600 young people each day

South Ealing was our first supported housing project, opened by Princess Anne in 1985. Hostel style rooms had shared bathrooms and no cooking facilities. Funding from the Greater London Authority under the Homelessness Change Programme and the Mayor’s Building the Pipeline fund gave us the chance to create a better environment for young people, and great facilities for the local community.


‘When my relationship with I’d had no experience of my father broke down it was a managing money and soon fell really traumatic time. There was into rent arrears. The team a court case, and I had to leave explained that I needed to home at 18. make paying rent my priority and helped me budget my I needed somewhere to live benefits. I’m now in credit! and was referred to YMCA West They organised me so I could London - Jupiter House in Hayes. learn to organise myself. I was really scared at first and worried that I could hear YMCA helped me find a local strange noises in my room. affordable flat with a housing association and came to But the YMCA staff were always viewings with me. I’m about around and I got into the to collect the keys to my own routine of popping in to their place - I’m so excited and proud office every morning for a chat. of what I’ve achieved with There was always someone to their help.’ talk to and my confidence grew. I started to make friends. They found me work programmes and some voluntary work. And they helped me to get a passport! You need a passport as ID to apply for jobs and I was stuck without one. Now I’m ready to look for work.


Vicky’s grateful that thanks to YMCA she’s ready to live independantly.

Vicky, 20, Jupiter House - Hayes



We believe that every person should have someone they can trust.

Nearly 2,500 support hours a week 10

At YMCA, support and advice play a large part in helping a young person through difficult times and to grow and develop in every aspect of their lives.

GOLD ACCREDITATION FOR OUR WORK WITH YOUNG PEOPLE YMCA West London received a Gold Accreditation London Youth Quality Mark for our work with young people this year. It is the only quality assurance scheme for youth organisations which is accredited by City and Guilds and, it uniquely involves young people in assessment. It provides youth organisations with a badge of excellence that they can show to local authorities, funders and young people to prove they are doing the most they can to transform lives.

@fusion’s Job Club’s really needed in this area of high unemployment. We’re proud that in the last 18 months:

@fusion’s youth cafe serves 11 to 25 year olds in Hayes. In the last 18 months over 400 young people used it. Our survey in May showed over 150 had sought advice, support or guidance and had increased confidence.

We use sport to reach out to young people who may be hard to engage, and around 500 have joined our football, boxing and gym sessions.

    

18 young people now have full time and 10 part time jobs 7 are now in apprenticeships 16 in training or education 15 in volunteering or work placements 82 young people have been helped with job searches and CV writing.


‘Get on Track’ gave Llewellyn confidence and qualifications. Now he can work, pay his rent, and use his spare time to help other young people. ‘My childhood wasn’t the best. Dad gambled and we were very poor. I was in and out of work and sofa surfing when I couldn’t pay rent. The best thing that happened to me was being reffered to YMCA West London. I had somewhere to live, met lots of people, and there were opportunities to get involved. The YMCA’s Youth Engagement Officer really encouraged me to volunteer with the youth programmes, @fusion in Hayes. They gave me a place on the Get on Track programme, run in partnership with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. World class athletes mentor disadvantaged young people so they can move into employment, education or training. I loved it! Sports, trips, and a first aid and stewarding course that 12

gave me qualifications. My confidence grew alongside my employability. Now I have a job stewarding and can afford to pay my rent. I really believe that the work YMCA does makes a difference. I volunteer with the Get on Track courses, and every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday I help out with other youth programmes. I feel part of the family! The staff has given me so much support and advice. At our Y Fest event in July I received an achievement award. YMCA and Get on Track certainly got my life back on track. Think I’d still be sleeping on sofas and walking the streets without them.’

Llewellyn, 33, @fusion youth programmes



We believe that everyone should be able to enjoy the benefits of physical exercise. From expanding our Y Active programme to adult classes and our new timetable in Harrow, to working with the young people we house - we’re committed to helping develop healthy lifestyles.

MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT Our work at YMCA focuses on young people’s holistic development, recognising that positive health and wellbeing are essential for all other aspects of young people’s lives to be fulfilled.

Many residents feel lonely when they first arrive and YMCA works to engage with them and offer emotional support. Our community environment contributes to their wellbeing.

This year we have initiated a specialist support approach, employing staff who specialise in substance abuse and mental health issues.

We monitor and measure the outcomes of our work, and this year our residents told us:

We have appointed a new Housing Support Officer as a mental health specialist. She runs workshops offering techniques to improve mental health and works closely with external agencies.

61% are feeling positive about their future 70% have increased confidence skills 75% feel supported by people around them 51% have increased motivational skills.


1,700 active customers in our new Y Active studio


YMCA ga Dexter m medicati emotiona is a safet he has re his future

Dexter, 17, YMCA West London - South Ealing 16

gave more than ation. The onal support fety net and real hope for ure.

‘I was bullied at school and kicked out of the family home at 14. I lived with my Dad, but he knew nothing about my mental health issues. I had panic attacks at school and sometimes would stay in the wardrobe rather than face the outside world. I was in and out of hospital and spent my 17th birthday there. I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression, general and social anxiety and was self harming. I missed a lot of school. After my second hospital admission I was homeless. For a week I slept in the back of a car and was unsure where I would be staying. When Social Services referred me to YMCA West London South Ealing I was beyond relief. I had somewhere safe to live, food in the fridge and a hot meal for breakfast and dinner.

I have £4.50 in my pocket today but the staff are helping me sort out benefits and to return to education. But it’s the emotional support that makes all the difference in the world. As a transgendered man, I face many difficulties in day to day life. Now I feel able to correct people when the wrong pronoun is used – “she” instead of “he”, and don’t feel so frightened about being judged. I’m accepted for who I am. The staff here are so genuinely caring and helpful,. The help I received in the past was to be given medication; here the staff will take me into their office and give me a cup of tea and a chat until I feel strong again. If I miss an appointment, they will phone to see that I’m ok, and remind me that they’re there. Without YMCA, I’d have carried on sleeping in a car or on the streets. I’d have given up and gone back to self-harming and attempting suicide. Now I’m planning my future. Thanks to YMCA, I’ve found a whole new path to explore in life.’ Name has been changed.



We believe that every young person should be able to fulfil their potential.

64% of our residents told us they now know how to access education or training thanks to YMCA

London has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the country.* YMCA works with many of these young people – often some of the most disadvantaged in society – who have few qualifications and lack the necessary experience to make the transition into employment. For these young people looking to gain employment, even reaching the interview stage is a difficulty. YMCA supports them to build relevant CV and workplace skills that employers desire. *Office for National Statistics, Regional Labour Market, December 2015


TAKING THE NEXT STEP Our new Training Support Officer in Hayes started work last December. He’s passionate about helping residents to move on with their lives. 57% of our residents are not volunteering, in education, training or employment 51% of our residents told us they do not feel confident they can hold down a job. He says residents find it hard to move on from the security of receiving benefits. Young people who are in training or have a job for more than 16 hours a week loose them and that can be frightening.

Serving pizza can be a great motivator too. He supports all the steps needed to get a job - writing a CV, finding a suitable post, writing an application form and attending an interview. He arranges workshops to build up their skills, and is growing a network of contacts and agencies like the Heathrow Academy to find the best opportunities to help them move forward.

He builds up their confidence by developing a rapport and praising every move in the right direction. He will phone them, follow up appointments, go with them to enrolements or interviews, and knock on doors if they don’t turn up. 19

‘My mother has epilepsy and so do I. It stopped her finding a job, and after my Dad left she found it hard to cope with six children. I went into care at 14, then lived with my Dad in Lincolnshire where I knew no one. School was a challenge, and I dropped out of college afterwards. At 17 I came to London and moved in with my sister. She had a one bedroom flat, a baby and a partner who worked nights. That didn’t work. When the Council referred me to Ventura House, YMCA’s supported housing project in Hayes, it was a fresh start. At first I was really lonely. There’s over 80 young people living here. I wanted to stay in my room. But the Life Skills

Training Officer got on my case and I couldn’t get rid of him! He took me to training workshops and agencies who help with employment skills. I love the weekly YMCA Breakfast Club because I get breakfast as well as support in getting skills and experience which will help me get a job. Working with Community Albums at the Film and Media workshop was great too. We made a video about life at YMCA. That made me feel good. For the last month I’ve volunteered at a charity shop. I’m proud that I manage my time well. I want to go out there and see just what I can do.’ Photo and name have been changed.

Adam’s developing skills and experience and feels confident to take on new challenges. 20

Adam, 20 21 21


YMCA West London works with young people of all ages, recognising that support in the earliest years can have a positive impact upon a young person’s long term development.

WORKING WITH FAMILIES Our day nursery, Jumpers!, serves the youngest members of our community. One parent said, ‘The staff are amazing and I feel completely at peace leaving my son’. This year Jumpers! has held free coffee mornings in Y Lounge Cafe for local parents, covering topics like home safety, a parents’ guide to maths, and SCHEMAs. In our 2016 customer survey: 92% rated Jumpers! excellent for children’s development and the same for facilities. Y Active has introduced holiday clubs this year in response to requests from local parents and the numbers have been growing. YMCA also reaches out to families in crisis. YMCA West London – Greenford collaborates with London Borough of Ealing’s Children’s Services and Coral 22

Community Assessments to assess families at risk over 12 weeks while living at the YMCA’s Ealing Parenting Assessment Centre. Parents are provided with advice, guidance and support to develop their parenting skills, the wellbeing of their child is monitored by our staff team, and a comprehensive risk assessment is undertaken by qualified and experienced child care workers. Over 11% of our residents are teenage parents and families. YMCA West London - Northolt Grange is home to 10 mothers aged 16-18 and their babies. As well as accommodation in self contained flats, training, support and personal development help the young mothers make a positive start to family life. Our housing projects in Hayes and Hanwell also house and support young mothers.

We believe that every family should have the support they need to develop and lead more fulfilling lives.

We run free Chat & Play sessions for young parents in Hayes


Preeti, 20, and Jay, aged 2 months. 24

Preeti has the support she needs to learn to care for her son. ‘As a child I was in and out of foster care. My mother was ill, and my father couldn’t care full time for my brother and I. She passed away when I was 11. When I found I was pregnant at 19 it was a big shock and a big step into adulthood. When I came to YMCA West London - Greenford I felt discouraged. I’d already lived in a YMCA before. But the staff were really welcoming and my flat has loads of space and its own kitchen. It’s a good place to start family life.

As a care leaver, my parenting is being monitored and assessed by the Health Services, Social Care and YMCA. I’m being observed doing all the basics - nappy changing, feeding, bathing my baby. My son Jay is now two months old. I feel very confident about looking after him and know I can ask for help from the staff any time of the day or night. There’s always someone there to turn to. My fiancé comes and visits me and Jay every day so I am reassured when I leave here I’ll have a stable relationship as well as the skills I need to move into my own flat eventually.’



Our year in pictures...

Sleep Easy In March, 33 brave volunteers slept outside Christ the Saviour Church, Ealing Broadway, in cardboard boxes. They raised over £5,000. One of the participants said, ‘It was a real eye opener. We had the fun side, knowing it was for one night and sharing it with friends. I cannot imagine how hard it must be not to feel safe every night, people walking around you, feeling so alone.’ Thank you to St James’ Senior Girls School too. They held a Sleep Easy event in April and raised £553 for YMCA West London.


Y Fest

London Marathon

Our young people’s event in July at Trailfinders Sports Club, Ealing, saw over 150 young people really celebrate.

Two young people from @fusion, Hayes, ran the London Marathon for YMCA West London.

The Mayor of Ealing, Councillor Dr Patricia Walker, and MP Rupa Huq presented awards and spoke about YMCA’s work with local young people.

Terry Waite

Young people showcased their talents with song, video and stories of change, then celebrated with a BBQ, football and an It’s a Knockout obstacle course. We thank Community Albums, Music in Detention, Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, Mind, Rise, Connexions, Wellbeing People, Action West London, Heathrow Academy, and the Foyer Federation for joining us on our special day.

BBC Songs of Praise featured Terry Waite visiting South Ealing. He chose to be interviewed at our YMCA because of his connection with YMCA and YCare International. He spoke to a group of our young residents about his experiences as a captive and asked them about their backgrounds and how conflict has affected their lives today.



INCOME Housing income £ 4,170,185 62% Support Income £ 1,725,569 25% Fees £ 773,014 12% Grants etc. £ 36,055 1% Total £ 6,704,823

EXPENDITURE Housing costs Support costs Children & Youth services

£ 3,326,698 54% £ 1,756,300 28% £ 1,097,169 18%

Total £ 6,180,167



Your donation could provide a welcome pack for a young rough sleeper with toiletries, kitchen essentials and basic food for the first night. - An Oyster card for hospital appointments, job interviews, and training courses. - ÂŁ25 Argos voucher to buy what they need to start living in their own place. It could be a kettle and toaster, a duvet cover, some towels.





Harrow South Harrow

Ruislip Uxbridge Greenford Hayes

SUPPORTED HOUSING South Ealing Ealing Common Hanwell Jupiter House, Hayes Ventura House, Hayes Greenford Northolt Roxeth Gate Uxbridge Supported Lodgings 30

Ealing Southall






YMCA West London – South Ealing

YMCA West London @fusion youth programmes

T: 020 8832 1525 E:

YMCA West London – Ventura House, Hayes T: 020 8832 1555 E:

YMCA West London – Jupiter House, Hayes T: 020 8832 1545 E:

YMCA West London – Roxeth Gate T: 020 8832 1550 E:

YMCA West London – Uxbridge T: 020 8832 1580 E:

YMCA West London – Hanwell T: 020 8832 1505 E:

YMCA West London – Ealing Common T: 020 8832 1575 E:

YMCA West London – Greenford T: 020 8832 1540 E:

YMCA West London – Northolt T: 020 8832 1515 E:

YMCA West London – Supported Lodgings T: 020 8832 1551 E:

T: 020 8832 1512 E:

HEALTH & WELLBEING YMCA West London – Y Active T: 020 8832 1576 E:

YMCA West London – Y Lounge Café T: 020 8832 1599 E:

FAMILY WORK YMCA West London – Jumpers! Nursery T: 020 8832 1516 E:

TRAINING & EDUCATION YMCA West London - Opportunities Scheme T: 020 8832 1544 E:

YMCA WEST LONDON T: 020 8832 1500 E:


YMCA West London 25 St. Mary’s Road Ealing W5 5RE 020 8832 1500 Charity no: 1058593

YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by, and faithful to, our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.






Annual review 2016  
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