Allchurches Trust grant brings chaplaincy to YMCA Guildford Foyer

We are delighted to have been able to have received a ‘Hope Beyond’ Covid grant from Allchurches Trust which has allowed us to set up chaplaincy sessions at our YMCA in Guildford . Our Guildford Foyer is a 24-hour supported accommodation for young people (16-24). We provide a safe home to 30 young people in Guildford every night and a significant proportion of these are unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

Elly McKay-Smith, our Eastbourne Chaplain will be leading chaplaincy in Guildford. Anyone who follows Elly on social media (@macsm) will know the amazing energy and heart she brings to her role as Chaplain.

Chaplaincy meal at Guildford Foyer

Since starting she’s already been gardening with residents as well as leading healthy cooking sessions and sharing meals. 

What a difference 4 weeks makes! (Tomatoes and vegetable plants at YMCA Guildford Foyer)









Speaking about setting up chaplaincy in Guildford she said:  “It has been refreshing to work with such a variety of young people from such diverse backgrounds and find commonality through the love of cooking and sharing a meal together. We have even been planting a variety of different vegetables to use – squashes ,aubergine ,tomatoes, basil and mint included! 

The role of our Chaplains is to spend time with the residents in their projects, cooking and eating with them, chatting, playing board games, and generally just being there for them.  They enable our young residents to feel heard, valued, and accepted as well as helping them to feel part of the wider community.

Speaking about the difference chaplaincy made to him, one young resident said:

It gave me the chance to talk to other people in a place I feel comfortable – rather than a random person in a place I don’t know. And thanks to the Chaplaincy and the volunteers, I am where I am now.

Click HERE to find out more about chaplaincy or how to volunteer.

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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.

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