Happy and laughing young woman

22 March 2024

Stock photo used to protect identity.

Hayley was referred to the YMCA in Rugeley when she was 17 years old. A relationship breakdown with family due to domestic violence left her homeless. Hayley was desperate for accommodation and was able to access one of our emergency bed spaces.  She arrived with her social worker in the middle of the night and was given a safe, warm room whilst plans were made regarding her long-term future.

When Hayley arrived at the project, she was quiet and shy. She had never lived on her own before and was extremely nervous about this new situation she had found herself in through no fault of her own.The next day she met with her new YMCA support worker who got to know a bit about Hayley and established her wishes with how to move things forward. Returning to the family home wasn’t an option for Hayley and after staying at the YMCA for a couple of days she decided that she would like to explore the option of staying more long term.

After being interviewed Hayley was offered long term accommodation at the YMCA and moved into flat. Initially Hayley found it difficult to manage, she had gone from living in a family environment, paying no bills or rent to having to make a claim for universal credit and manage her own income. With help and guidance from her key support worker Hayley began to make some great progress with her independent living skills and was invited to take part in our George Williams award group work sessions.

The George Williams award is a program designed to help young people make the most of there time at the YMCA by broadening their experiences and gives clear guidelines of what is expected to be considered for resettlement into the community. The program is split into 3 levels which become more challenging as you work through the levels. YMCA staff support every young person to complete the programme through regular group work sessions as well as individual 1-2-1 support sessions.

Hayley was excited about starting the George Williams award programme and enjoyed the challenge of completing it. She put a lot of hard work and effort into it and was enthusiastic about completing it and moving on into independence. Hayley completed the course in 9 months and really felt that at the end of it she had learnt all the skills necessary to live on her own.

Hayley was put forward for resettlement with Cannock Chase Council and was successful in bidding on a property in the local area.

Hayley has recently left the project and has been visited by her support worker regularly since leaving. Hayley’s support worker has no concerns and commented that Hayley is now thriving, she has a beautiful flat and has gained full time work. Hayley will be attending the upcoming George Williams award night and is really looking forward to it.