Oliver's story

Oliver’s story

YMCA DownsLink Group Oliver's Story

Oliver currently lives in supported housing with YMCA DownsLink Group.  He has cerebral palsy so has difficulty with fine motor skills and walking.  He had a difficult time at home and wanted to live more independently.  Alterations to his flat enabled him to use the bathroom and kitchen on his own.  Oliver volunteers in a local charity shop but unfortunately poor mental health led to giving up his dream job in a football retail shop.  He had made the move to live with us independently as he really wanted to learn to do things for himself.  He was very keen to make friends and get a job so he was referred to our mentorship scheme.

Oliver was matched with a mentor and they quickly started to work together on his goals.  Oliver struggled to work out what he wanted to do.  He had given up his last job due to depression and was also on a huge NHS waiting list for physiotherapy.  His legs really hurt and cramped up without regular physio.

His mentor suggested applying to the YMCA DownsLink Group’s,  Life Change Fund (money donated from supporters), for funding for gym membership and physiotherapy sessions.  Oliver and his mentor felt that attending a gym would really help him.  He could work on his strength, meet people and build his confidence to make the move back into employment. Also if he could get some physiotherapy sessions privately it would really help with his mobility and enable him to get out and about.

Oliver successfully applied for a sum of money that enabled him to join the gym and have some physiotherapy sessions. He loved going for his private gym induction session. Oliver was so pleased to receive this help that he asked if he could do some fundraising for YMCA DownsLink Group. He asked a local football club for a signed shirt to auction off for money to put back into the Life Change Fund.

Oliver said:

The money raised from auctioning the signed shirt will go into the Life Change Fund. This basically enables YMCA DownsLink Group to give grants to young people for things they need.  For example, I am disabled and needed gym membership to help me with my physiotherapy.  There’s no way I could pay for that myself, so the YMCA gave me a grant to go and do it. It’s brilliant work and I want to give back.”

Oliver gained the confidence to think about entering a photograph competition.  He was really pleased that one of his photos was shortlisted and displayed to the public! With the help of his mentor, Oliver continues to make progress in living independently.  We wish him well as he works towards getting back into employment.

*Name and photo changed to protect the young person’s identity

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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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