7 April 2014

YMCA Black Country Group celebrated 5 successful years of Supported Lodgings project which has provided over 14,000 nights of accommodation for homeless teenagers. 

YMCA Black Country Group’s very own Rachael Taylor & Team organised a Charity Ball to celebrate 5 years of the Open Door Project, which provides homeless teenagers with rooms in the homes of volunteer Host families across the Black Country and Staffordshire. The aim of the evening was to raise awareness of the scheme and to raise money to enable YMCA to help young people afford to live with Hosts once they have a job.

The Charity Ball, which was held at The Hawthorns consisted of a 3 course meal, heart-warming talks from Blind Dave Heeley and CEO of Depaul UK, Martin Houghton-Brown, followed by music from local Specials tribute band, 2tonics.
In addition to a raffle to encourage people to donate to the cause, the YMCA held a Silent Auction which included some fantastic lots, donated by local people including a round of golf with Baggies legend, Cyrille Regis!

Nathan Adams, Open Door Project Manager said,
“The Charity Ball was a huge success! It was great to see so many people, many whom have had nothing to do with the YMCA before, show up to support us. Over 100 people joined in the celebrations and together, helped to raise over £3,500 on the night!  Open Door started in Sandwell with just a team of two staff; now we work right across the Black Country, with 70 volunteer hosts and provide 14,000 nights of accommodation for homeless young people every year
– truly something worth celebrating!”

The YMCA Open Door project is always looking for caring people to open their homes to homeless young people. They hold regular preparation courses which explain what it’s like to be a Host and gives people who are interested in being part of the project the chance to meet the young people whose lives have been dramatically changed by this fantastic scheme.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Open Door project can contact Host Co-Ordinator, Rachael Taylor on 0121 524 1974 or rachael.taylor@ymcabc.org.uk