25 October 2019

It was great to have the opportunity to welcome Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion to YMCA YAC (Youth Advice Centre) in Brighton last week.

YMCA YAC provides young people in the local area with a safe and friendly environment where they can access helpful advice and support. They are the first place to go for housing advice for anyone under 26 years old who is homeless or threatened with homelessness. They also offer a family support and mediation service and a support and advice service providing sexual health advice and services, emotional and wellbeing support and benefits and money advice.

Our CEO Chas Walker met Caroline and spoke about the wider story and the challenges both young people and our YMCA face with the increasing levels of youth homelessness in the City and the rise in mental health problems faced by young people. Caroline took a tour of YMCA YAC, which has a partnership approach to having a wide range of services under one roof, and is one of very few places now where young people can access advice, support and guidance that helps to keep them safe in the City.

She was keen to find out more about supported housing and the changing levels of need as statutory services continue to reduce thresholds and the levels of support. It was also an opportunity to talk about the challenges faced by our supported housing teams and young people including the availability of move on accommodation. She was particularly interested in improving young people’s access to good quality mental health support and housing.

Caroline commented:

“Great to catch up with Chas Walker to discuss challenges facing youth services, particularly in the face of massive government cuts. Thanks to the amazing staff at YMCA DLG and YMCA YAC in Brighton for all the vital work you do with vulnerable young people in our city.”