Around 80 people, including council representatives, friends, supporters and neighbours, gathered at the National Trust Tea Room, Dapdune Wharf on Thursday 7 December to celebrate the opening of YMCA Guildford Foyer, Wharf Road. Previously known as Midwey House, the YMCA’s 13 bed hostel has been redeveloped to provide modern accommodation for 34 local young people.
Within Guildford the Bridge Street hostel is a familiar sight, but the first YMCA hostel in the town opened in 1969 in Wharf Road. Now, thanks to a grant from the Housing and Communities Association, generous donations from supporters and funds from the sale of other assets, that same building has been enlarged and extended.
At the reception John Slater, Chairman of YMCA DLG, thanked all those present for their interest and practical support that has helped to bring this major project to fruition. He said, “There is no sign of an end to the shortage of affordable accommodation in Guildford. I am proud and passionate about the wonderful offering provided by the YMCA in so many ways to help young people belong, contribute and thrive. Because of the generosity of our many friends and supporters we have been able to commit over £3 million to transform an old, tired, not fit for modern purpose facility into a modern, well-equipped home for 34 young people.”
Following the reception at the Tea Room, the guests made their way along to the new YMCA Guildford Foyer where His Worshipful the Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Nigel Manning officially opened the new facility. The guests were able to tour the new facility which will be staffed around the clock.
Young people have started to move in, having fulfilled the criteria required by the Foyer Federation. The building offers local young people the opportunity to live independently – most rooms are self-contained while some share kitchen facilities – in a safe environment.