Donate today - YMCA DownsLink Group

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How does my donation help?

Your generosity allows for us to provide vital support to children and young people across Sussex and Surrey. Each donation helps us fund incredible projects like our Youth Advice Centres and YMCA WiSE, which are in place specifically to help young people overcome crisis and find much-needed support. We believe that all young people deserve to feel safe and supported. By donating, you are helping us in our mission to transform young lives.

Mapalo's Story

At 19, student Mapalo faced homelessness, until she found a place to call home at YMCA DownsLink Group. By making a donation, your kindness allows young people like Mapalo turn their lives around and helps them build a more positive future.

Mapalo sat at a desk smiling at he camera

Who your donations support

safe home

Becky's Story

"I feel like I've got a future now"

Becky was just 10 when her Mum died. Her Dad started to drink heavily and neglected her. At 17, she decided she couldn't stay there anymore and found herself homeless. Alone and scared, she had nowhere left to turn. Until she found us.

YMCA DownsLink Group gave Becky a safe place to call home, in 24-hour supported accommodation. With the help of her project support worker, she is starting to rebuild her life, and is looking forward to the future. 


Mollie wearing a white shirt smiling taking a selfie

Mollie's Story

“I am proud to say now, post-counselling, that I feel empowered, prepared and able to live my life to the absolute fullest”

Mollie was struggling with anxious thoughts that were taking over her life and stopping her from being independent. She felt stuck and constantly feared she was in danger.

When Mollie started seeing a YMCA Dialogue counsellor, everything started to change. Mollie was supported to overcome her anxiety and gain control back over her life. She’s regained her confidence and is looking forward to travelling and going to university.


Poppy's story

Poppy's Story

“I am in a happier and safer space now than ever”

Poppy didn’t realise she was being subjected to sexual exploitation. She was referred to our YMCA WiSE service and was supported to understand the reality of her situation.

Now Poppy is back in college and hoping to work in a hostel or care home looking after vulnerable young people. She wants to give back and help other people get through their bad days.


Dylan with curley brown hair and braces smiling at the camera, sat in a grass field

Dylan's Story

“If I hadn’t had a room at the YMCA then I don’t know where I would be today, probably laying dead in a gutter.”

Dylan ran away from home when he was just 14, after being stuck at the centre of his parents’ violent divorce. He started selling and taking drugs to help him cope but ended up in hospital after suffering from a nervous breakdown.

It all turned around when Dylan moved into our supported accommodation and was given the support and advice he needed to overcome his addiction, start working and become an independent young person.


Nathan's Story

Nathan's Story

“Being told my feelings are valid is so relieving and encouraging”

Nathan had been struggling with his family relationships and mental health for several years, especially after coming out to his family at the age of 15, as they didn’t accept his sexuality.

Nathan found the confidence to reach out to our Youth Advice service and had support sessions focusing on self-care, setting boundaries and exploring his anxieties. Following the sessions, Nathan felt more confident in maintaining a positive state of mind and felt more comfortable communicating with his parents.

Support and Advice

Your support is needed now more than ever

40% of children and young people from the age of 16 - 25 have been temporarily homeless at some stage of their lives.



cuts in funding to youth services over the last 10 years



of those using our services have come from the care system



of people experiencing homelessness are under the 25

Young people need your help. We are doing all we can to support young people with their mental health and trying to break the cycle of youth homelessness, but we cannot succeed without the support from people like you.

Young people's stories

Learn more about how we help young people, read their stories

Mapalo sat at a desk smiling at he camera

Mapalo’s story

A heart attack permanently altered Mapalo's mum's personality. Forced to go to school with a suitcase full of her belongings, Mapalo would present herself as homeless. Things changed when she turned 18.
Dee at Hailsham boxing club smiling

Dee’s story

Dee dreams of being a champion. She wants to represent Britain as part of the GB boxing team. Despite facing challenges as a teenager, with our support, she’s thriving and is working hard to turn her dreams into reality.  
Young man archie smiling on a street

Archie’s story

After a chaotic few years Archie found stability at the YMCA. Now, with help from YMCA’s Life Change Fund he’s all set to take another big step forwards.

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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