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.

Ben stood outside Filfil cafe

Ben’s story

Ben had a difficult time growing up and was thrown out of home at just 15. Through the perseverance of a teacher, Ben was given a home in our 24-hour supported accommodation and life got better. 
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.
Nathan's Story

Nathan’s story

Nathan was struggling with his family relationships and mental health after coming out to his family at 15. Our Youth Advice Service found him specialist help.
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.
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.
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.
Room sponsorship - Becky sat on bed

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.
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.

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.
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.
Adi smiling at the Youth Matters Awards with a pink glitter background

Adi’s story

Adi is an unaccompanied asylum–seeking young person who threw himself into every opportunity when he moved into our supported accommodation despite facing huge adversity.
Jack's Story

Jack’s story

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 row his Dad threw him out.
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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