Young smiling black girl, sitting in her own flat, smiling whilst talking to a friend off camera.

24 January 2024

Name and photo changed to protect identity.

Poppy had previously lived with a partner and had their own tenancy but after a break up, Poppy found herself in a lot of debt, as all of the bills had been in her name.

She saw coming to YMCA as a backward step initially and was reluctant to speak about her personal circumstances for a long time. Her brother was also housed with us and he had made a lot of progress towards independence. Eventually he moved out into his own tenancy and once she could see how settled he was, she began to want the same.

With help from from the Dudley Alliance and support staff at Highland Road she was able to put things in place to manage her debts. She also started to come to YMCA Move On sessions, which are designed to ready young people to manage their own tenancy. Although her engagement was at times sporadic, the team patiently supported Poppy and she was eventually put forward for move on.

Just before Christmas, she was offered a beautiful new build, one bedroom house not far from her brother. She was over the moon to have a second chance at independence and says that her time at YMCA and sessions with the staff team have been able to help her learn from past mistakes, so she can manage her money, relationships and mental health better. Poppy applied to the Moving Forward Fund to help her furnish her new home and YMCA bought her a brand new washing machine. She has since managed to secure work and has moved on successfully into the local community.

Given a second chance to start again has made all the difference to Poppy – all she needed was someone to believe in her and encourage her to thrive. The Moving Forward Fund enables YMCA to give that extra helping hand, to supply furniture, training or transport support, which can set young people up for success once they leave YMCA.