Young People's Stories - YMCA DownsLink Group

Young People’s Stories

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.
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.
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.
Josh sat on a sofa smiling, wearing a red jumper and blue jeans

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.
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.
Dylan with curley brown hair and braces smiling at the camera, sat in a grass field

Dylan’s story

Dylan ran away from home when he was 14 and got involved with drugs to help him cope but ended up in hospital after suffering from a nervous breakdown.

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.
Young man archie smiling on a street

Archie’s story

After a chaotic few years Archie found stability at the YMCA. Now, with help from YMCA’s Life Change Fund he’s all set to take another big step forwards.
Becky's Story

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.
Poppy's story

Poppy’s Story

Poppy didn’t realise she was being subjected to sexual exploitation. Spending time with a YMCA WiSE project worker opened her eyes to the reality of her situation.
Nader stood in the garden in a blue sports tshirt holding up two certificates of achievement

Nader’s story

Nader left his home country when he was just 14 and after a difficult journey he arrived in the UK as an unaccompanied asylum seeking child. Nader was given a home at YMCA DownsLink Group and was supported to learn English, attend college and take part in lots of activities.
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.
Daniel sat on his bed listening to music

Daniel’s story

What does Chaplaincy really mean to the young people we support? One resident, Daniel, who has recently ‘moved on’ to a transitional property from a Foyer, explained the difference Chaplaincy made to him.
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.

Andre’s Story

With exams looming Andre was getting into trouble at school. Counselling sessions with YMCA Dialogue enabled him to face up to his fears and develop plans for the future.
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.
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.
Kai's Story

Kai’s story

After years of struggling with poor mental health, Kai moved into our 24-hour supported accomodation and finally began to get the help he needed.
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. 

Sherylee’s story

Sherylee moved into YMCA Worthing Foyer struggling with instability. Through hard work and perseverance, she is now thriving and has just released her first EP!
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.
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.
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.
Dee at Hailsham boxing club smiling

Dee’s story

Dee dreams of being a champion. She wants to represent Britain as part of the GB boxing team. Despite facing challenges as a teenager, with our support, she’s thriving and is working hard to turn her dreams into reality.  
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.
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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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