We’ve launched an ‘Emergency Isolation Pack’ fundraising appeal in response to pressures created by the COVID-19 crisis. Every year, we provide a safe home for around 1,400 vulnerable young people in Sussex and Surrey and we need your help to keep the safe during the pandemic.
Our CEO, Chas Walker explains why your support is needed more than ever:
“The young people we house and support are being directly affected by this crisis. Many of them are losing their jobs in the Gig/zero hours economy, when they are already on low wages, without savings or parents who can support them financially. They are also experiencing significant delays in accessing universal credit, so are without any funds to support themselves. Our young people are also being infected by the virus with over 7% self-isolating in our housing schemes. Without family support they are more reliant on us than ever to support and care for them at this difficult time.
Our dedicated frontline staff are working 24 hours a day to support them through the COVID-19 crisis. But, some are struggling with their mental health and now feel particularly scared and anxious. They are worried about running out of food and other essentials, and many feel lonely and forgotten.
We’re providing our young people with ’emergency isolation packs’ to ensure they have the food and essentials they need, particularly if they find themselves without any money or are self-isolating without family to support them.”
We’d also love you to post messages of support and encouragement on our on social media channels using the hashtag #Here4U and tagging @ymcadlg.
Chas explains why:
“For those that are financially able to, donations will make a huge difference to the young people we look after. However, we understand that some people won’t be able to do this, and we would encourage them to show these young people that they aren’t alone and leave messages of support for them on our social media channels by tagging @YMCADLG. We want to show them that they have not been forgotten by their community; that we are all in this together.”
Coronavirus has also meant that we’ve had to adapt our other crucial advice and counselling services. We’ve worked rapidly to move these services online. This will ensure that the vulnerable young people we work with can continue to access the help they need. The pressures on families and young people, from both self-isolation and social distancing, is having an impact. Already, YMCA Youth Advice Centre (YAC) has seen an increase in young people presenting as homeless with COVID-19 being cited as the reason that they’ve had to leave home. Our director of children and young people’s services, Rachel Brett, has urged families to seek mediation. (READ MORE on this story).