What we do - YMCA DownsLink Group

What we do

We change lives. We give young people the chance to fulfil their potential, whatever challenges they face

We prevent youth homelessness by providing young people with a safe place to live

Our support and advice services aim to prevent young people from facing crisis

We provide a range of counselling services to support young peoples' mental health

YMCA DownsLink Group is a charity that works to prevent young people from reaching crisis across Sussex and Surrey. We support young people, at a crucial stage in their lives, so that they can fulfil their potential.

Our local YMCA's can be found in Brighton & Hove, Crawley, Eastbourne & Hailsham, Guildford, Hastings, Horsham and Worthing.

Photo by Liz Finlayson/Vervate
YMCA DownsLink Challenge a 17.5-mile fundraising walk along the Downs Link Pathway from Horsham to Shoreham-by-Sea Saturday 15th July 2023 -

Accommodation at YMCA DownsLink Group

We offer a variety of accommodation throughout Sussex and Guildford. Every night give a home to more than 650 young people, who are homeless or, at risk of homelessness. On average a young person will stay with us for two years.

Our 'More than a Room' model of supported accommodation aims to equip young people with the skills and support needed to move on to independent living. This is achieved through a range of housing-related support services.

Our accommodation includes 24 hour staffed services, projects with daytime support staff, transitional housing schemes with visiting support, and, 'Move On' accommodation for those ready for independent living.

Support & Advice at YMCA DownsLink Group

YMCA DownsLink Group provides a wide range of support and advice services to young people in Sussex and Surrey. We provide emotional and practical support for young people aged 11-25.

We have two Youth Advice Centres in Brighton & Hove, and Crawley (YAC) and a dedicated project for any young person experiencing or at risk of sexual exploitation (YMCA WiSE).

Counselling at YMCA DownsLink Group

We are committed to supporting the mental health of young people in our local community by offering professional counselling and therapy. We are the largest provider of counselling to schools in Sussex as well as providing community counselling services. We also have a digital platform for young people looking for self-help support around some common issues.

Read young people's stories

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.

Georgia’s story

Georgia had her independence taken away from her when her living situation became unmanageable. She was given a home at YMCA DownsLink Group and received support to reconnect with her family and learn vital life skills.

Josh’s story

A year ago, Josh was facing homelessness. He was having trouble at home and didn’t get on with his parents. After moving into our supported accommodation, Josh took every opportunity he could to help other people like him.

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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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