7 December 2016

YMCA Black Country’s Supported Lodgings will be holding its first Young People’s Awards Ceremony at Wolverhampton Council Chambers on Wednesday 7 December. Awards will be presented by the Mayor of Wolverhampton to Young People from Supported Lodgings for outstanding achievement. Clifford Harding, winner of the Pride of Britain Award in 2013, will be the guest speaker for the evening. The event will showcase the hard work and accomplishment of the Young People using the service.

Wolverhampton South West MP Rob Marris is giving his support to YMCA Black Country Group’s Supported Housing after meeting with the Project Manager, Project Worker, and one of the Young People being presented with an award. The Emergency Nightstop scheme which places vulnerable Young People with Host Families in the community has provided more than 1500 emergency bed nights for vulnerable teenagers in the Black Country so far this year. The increase in referrals over the last 12 months has led to an urgent need for more Hosts to ensure Young People aren’t turned away.

Project Manager, Rachael Taylor, and Young Person, Arron, met with the MP to discuss the importance of Emergency Nightstop and the YMCA’s Open Door scheme in helping vulnerable Young People top reach their potential. The MP was interested to learn how young people have to agree to engage in education or employment to get on to the scheme and the support has enabled dozens of the young people to go on to University.

The MP for Wolverhampton South West said ““Sadly there is a growing problem of homelessness, particularly amongst young people. The main focus should be for the state to make sure there is sufficient accommodation, however in the meantime it falls to organisations like the YMCA to work with concerned citizens to bridge the gap. For example, through their excellent open door project which operates all year round.”

The project is so busy now that they have had to turn some Young People away and now urgently need more Hosts in all areas of the Black Country to provide both long term and emergency accommodation. Hosts come from a variety of different backgrounds, from single people to married couples and families with children. They receive over a hundred pounds per week for providing Supported Lodgings and Nightstop Hosts can claim £20 per night in expenses for providing dinner, bed and breakfast. Full training and support is provided by the YMCA.

If you would like more information about Emergency Nightstop or Open Door, please click here.

If you think you could provide shelter and support for a vulnerable young person, please click here to find out more about becoming a Host, or feel free to email Rachael.taylor@ymcabc.org.uk or call 0121 524 1974.