Introducing 'The 44 Challenge'

Your support enables us to continue making a difference to over 10,000 young people, children, and families in Sussex and Surrey every year.

Take part in our latest challenge 'The 44 Challenge'

The 44 Challenge Idea YMCA

Sadly, 44 is the average age of death for someone experiencing homelessness. We work tirelessly to prevent vulnerable young people (16-24) facing difficulties from becoming part of this terrible statistic.

By taking part in the 44 Challenge and fundraising for us, you will help change lives in your local community.  So, will you join us and make a change that will be good for you and change the future for others?

Challenge ideas pack:

We've created a challenge pack to get you started, in addition to a colouring page which you can download and print at home. Download here

Shareable graphics for social media:

You'll be helping someone like Jack...

Jack came out as gay when he was 15. His family struggled to accept it and it caused tension and arguments at home. The situation came to a head when Jack was 16. After a huge argument, Jack's Dad threw him out and Jack became homeless.

YMCA Stories

Find out how we have supported young people.

Kai's Story

Kai’s story

After years of struggling with poor mental health, Kai moved into our 24-hour supported accomodation and finally began to get the help he needed.
Sam's Story

Sam’s story

Following family issues, Sam moved into our supported accommodation and found the confidence to pursue his dream career.
Kara's Story

Kara’s story

Changes in Kara's behaviour at school were causing concern. Counselling with YMCA Dialogue helped Kara identify and express her feelings, letting light into a dark period in her life.

Rukshi’s story

Rukshi was left homeless at 20 and lost custody of her daughter during a couple of difficult years. She’s now living in our 24 hour supported accommodation and has begun to rebuild her life and her relationship with her daughter.

Leaha’s story

Leaha, a resident in supported accomodation, couldn’t afford to buy football boots. But, thanks to generous donations from our supporters, she was able to take part in an international football competition.

Ali’s story

Ali left Iran aged 15 because his life was threatened. Read how living with YMCA DownsLink Group YMCA helped him to adjust to a new life in the UK, and how his future is looking positive.

Andre’s Story

With exams looming Andre was getting into trouble at school. Counselling sessions with YMCA Dialogue enabled him to face up to his fears and develop plans for the future.
Lihle's story

Lihle’s story

Lihle was struggling to meet the cost of travel to college. Thanks to funding from YMCA DownsLink Group she was able to continue her course until her bursary came through.
Becky's Story

Becky’s story

Becky is 19 and left home after her Dad’s drinking became too much for her to cope with. Her mum died when she was 10 and her Dad turned to alcohol to deal with his grief. She moved in with her boyfriend at 17 as a way to get away from her Dad, but when that didn’t work out she found herself facing homelessness.
Poppy's story

Poppy’s Story

Poppy didn’t realise she was being subjected to sexual exploitation. Spending time with a YMCA WiSE project worker opened her eyes to the reality of her situation.
YMCA DownsLink Group Oliver's Story

Oliver’s story

Oliver, who has cerebral palsy, was able to access funding to improve his mobility as well as his work prospects.
Susie's story

Susie’s story

Susie ended up alone at 18 when her little sister was taken into care. She was struggling to cope and stopped going to college. Since moving into our 24-hour supported accommodation she is thriving. She's back at college and dreams of being an astrophysicist.

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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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