The 44 Challenge - YMCA DownsLink Group

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.

Ex resident Millie smiling at the camera

Millie’s story

Millie had a difficult childhood which impacted her mental health and resulted in her leaving home at just 16. She was given a home in our 24-hour supported accommodation and life began to improve when she received the wraparound care and consistent support she needed.
Alysha smiling in the Horsham Y Centre Garden

Alysha’s story

Alysha had a difficult childhood, full of arguments and tension, which led to her battling with her mental health. Thrown out at 17 with nowhere to go, she sofa surfed at friend’s houses until she was given a safe home with us.
Sam sat on a boat with the sea behind him and a white boat in the distance

Sam’s story

Following on from two lockdowns and starting a new school, Sam was suffering from social anxiety. After reluctantly started therapy with us, Sam settled into the sessions and his worries began to lessen.
Tina's Story

Tina’s story

Tina found the support she received from our YMCA WiSE service invaluable following a difficult period in her life when she had been groomed by two older men.
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.
Mollie wearing a white shirt smiling taking a selfie

Mollie’s story

Mollie's anxious thoughts were taking over her life and stopping her from being independent. But when she started seeing a YMCA counsellor, she was empowered to gain back control.
Randy at the Youth Matters Awards smiling holding his certificate

Randy’s story

Randy had to leave his family and travel across the world to start a new life free from persecution. He is living in 24 hour supported housing and thriving.
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.
Image of Leo smiling with his arms crossed, wearing a beige jumper

Leo’s story

An incident at home led to a relationship breakdown between 17 year old Leo and his mum. His mum reached out for help from our Family Mediation Service as she was close to evicting him.
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.
YMCA DownsLink Group Dani's Story

Dani’s story

Dani's life had been chaotic and unstable. Her social worker referred her to YMCA DownsLink Group, and, with the help of her YMCA WiSE project worker, she began to make better decisions around relationships and her future.

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.
YMCA-logo-2022-white

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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