23 December 2013

This Christmas, our residents will enjoy Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, courtesy of local supermarkets.

YMCA Black Country Group accommodates more than 200 homeless young people across the Black Country, many of whom will not be able to spend Christmas
with their families, but this year, YMCA’s residents are looking forward to Christmas with each other, thanks to the kindness of their local Morrisons and Waitrose stores.

Shirley Spicer, Key Worker at YMCA’s West Bromwich project said, “We have several small settings across Sandwell and our 11 residents at Phoenix House have become a close knit group; many have taken difficult paths in life before reaching the YMCA, I thought it would be nice to bring everyone together at Christmas time for a traditional meal. So I wrote to Morrisons to ask for a turkey for our residents, but Store Manager Mark kindly donated a second for the residents at our other projects too!”

Mark Beale, Store Manager at Morrisons, West Bromwich explained: “We want to put our store at the heart of the town and we have a Community Champion to help support as many requests as we can from local groups or charities. I’m delighted we could help provide a fresh, tasty Christmas dinner to help the YMCA with such a great cause!”

Through the Waitrose Isolation Campaign, which aims to
support local charities to provide Christmas meals for their communities, the YMCA also received £500 for Christmas dinner for its 80 residents in Wolverhampton.

Steve Clay, CEO of YMCA Black Country Group said, “Spending cuts are affecting everyone at the moment so we’re extremely grateful of any support received from local organisations. The donations we have received will be used to make this Christmas time special for our residents, a Christmas dinner together, with all the trimmings – they’re all really looking forward to the meal and spending time together.”

YMCA resident, Neil Evans shared how much the stores’ generosity means to him, “I am looking forward to our Christmas meal this year thanks to Morrisons! I spent last Christmas alone – coming to YMCA has helped change my life, before this I had nowhere to call home.

Residents at Rugeley Foyer will also enjoy Christmas dinner and have each received their own Christmas gift, courtesy of Longdon Church, who have supported the foyer for many years with donations of bed linen, toiletries and food.

Spending time with family at Christmas is something most will take for granted, but for residents of the YMCA, some who would ordinarily spend Christmas alone, donations such as these are so important to keep their spirits high.  Thank you to everyone who has helped make this Christmas special to our residents.