Chaplaincy - YMCA DownsLink Group
Chaplaincy Web Banner

YMCA DownsLink Group has a Christian foundation and inclusive vision. Our chaplaincy service helps ensure our YMCA supported accommodation is unique. Our multi-faith chaplains make a difference to the lives of young people in our supported accommodation by providing a space to be heard, to have fun and to eat together.

Chaplaincy sessions centre around hospitality. Most revolve around weekly shared meals within our housing projects which helps build confidence, friendships, and a sense of family.

Our chaplains offer non-judgemental support to residents and staff with their spiritual, emotional, and social wellbeing. They are here for people of all faiths, no faith, and for those exploring faith, belief and spirituality.

As well as weekly sessions our chaplains also offer one-to-one support in an informal way, by being available for walks or a chat over a cuppa, and they offer support at times of crisis and loss.

Fundamental to our chaplaincy service are our teams of highly committed volunteer chaplains who are passionate about supporting young people.


“Thank you soooo much for everything you do and always bringing a warmness and light to the house.”
- Young Resident

Chaplaincy yp Quote Image-min

“Come more often. You do great work. If it weren’t for you we wouldn’t want to be here. Chaplaincy is the best part of the week… Amazing food and great company.”
- Young Resident

Chaplain Quote Image-min

“To cook a meal and for us all to sit down at the table together, it gives you that sense of family.”
- Chaplain

Where does our chaplaincy service operate?

We currently have chaplaincies running in Brighton & Hove, Crawley, Horsham, Worthing, Eastbourne and Guildford.

Contact us

To find out more about becoming a volunteer chaplain or supporting the chaplaincy service at YMCA DownsLink Group contact Elly McKay-Smith via email [email protected]  or call 07884 549308

What does Chaplaincy really mean to the young people we support?

When I first moved to the Foyer I didn’t speak to anyone for the first 2 weeks. I don’t know why, but Chaplaincy seemed like a safe place to introduce myself. I didn’t, and don’t see Chaplaincy as anything to do with the Foyer, not related, but more of an outside group, with people to talk to outside of the YMCA  and with people who are the same age as me in similar positions – the other residents who attend Chaplaincy. Chaplaincy was a space...

Read our stories to find out how we make a difference:

Emi, e-wellbeing Youth Mental Health champion smiling, waring a denim jacket and white t-shirt

Emi’s story

Emi is one of our e-wellbeing Youth Researchers. After experiencing her own mental health struggles at a young age, Emi was determined to help other young people like herself.

Read More
Georgia, smiling stood against a green background with a plant to her side

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.

Read More
Temesgen smiling holding his medal at the end of the DownsLink Challenge

Temesgen’s story

At just 16, Temesgen had to leave his family in Ethiopia and start a new life in the UK. He was given a home with us and received support to learn English, take part in volunteering and join in with YMCA activities.

Read More

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.

Scroll to Top
Skip to content