About us - YMCA DownsLink Group

About us

Transforming young lives across Sussex and Surrey

Find out more about what we do and the services we offer.

Find out more about where we work

Find out more about how you can get involved in supporting us

YMCA DownsLink Group is a charity working to transform the lives of children and young people (16-24) across Sussex and Surrey.

We work to prevent youth homelessness and provide a home to over 650 young people every night. We reach a further 9,000 children, young people and their families through our other services such as, counselling, support and advice, mediation and youth work, so that all young people can belong, contribute and thrive.

Many children and young people experience extraordinary challenges and adversity that can prevent their lives starting well. The ever-increasing level of risk and complexity they face has driven our services to be needed now more than ever before.


129,000 young people asked for help from their local council in 2021/22 because they were homeless or at risk of homelessness. 

Our mission

To help children and young people have a fair chance to be who they want to be. We do this by providing a safe home, increasing life skills and self-confidence, and improving emotional wellbeing and mental health

Our values

We welcome

We welcome

all who need space to feel secure, respected, heard and valued

We inspire

We inspire

people to realise their full potential

We support

We support

people to maximise opportunity and choice

We speak out

We speak out

on the issues that are important to children and young people and help them find their own voice

YMCA DownsLink Group is proud to be a member of the federation of YMCA England and Wales. We contribute to their vision and purpose: An inclusive Christian movement transforming communities so that all young people can belong, contribute and thrive.

Our History

YMCA is the largest and oldest youth movement in the world operating in 120 countries and providing vital services for over 65 million people. YMCA DownsLink Group is a formation of local YMCAs across Sussex and Surrey. We can trace our legal history to Hove YMCA and in 2019 we celebrated our 100th anniversary which coincided with YMCAs 175th anniversary. Read our History of the YMCA in Sussex and Surrey to find out more about our fascinating history.

Our Strategy 2023 - 2026

Following a period of organisational growth and a global pandemic, this strategy sets out YMCA DownsLink Group’s ambitions over the next three years.

Now more than ever, we recognise the need to be clear why we do what we do and how we improve outcomes for more children and young people, whilst also consolidating and optimising our resources for the future.

Our impact

Read more about our impact in Sussex and Surrey

Our People

Meet some of our staff, volunteers and trustees.

Reports and publications

Find out more about our reports and publications


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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