The Y Annual Report

April 2017 - March 2018

We are The Y, a youth homelessness charity in the heart of Leicester. Watch our film to see some of our young people talk about their personal experiences with homelessness, and to hear about the vital work we do both in the local community and within the youth homelessness sector.

The Y has been supporting young people in Leicestershire for 135 years and currently houses 120 young people in supported accommodation each night. But that is not all… watch our video to find out more about The Y, and importantly, learn how YOU can help end youth homelessness here in Leicestershire.

We believe every young person deserves a home where they feel safe and supported. We’re proud that we’ve always been proactive in developing our work to reflect real needs but sadly we’ve seen a huge increase in mental health issues amongst young people this year.

Our specialist complex needs worker tackles some of the most distressing issues, which is helping to prevent recurring homelessness. We’re pleased to announce that Big Lottery Fund money will enable us to replicate this model across six other YMCAs in the Midlands from 2019.

You’ll hear from some of the young people themselves and find out about many other exciting projects in our first online digital report!

Paul Brown,Chief Executive

Housing

101

rooms are available for homeless young people aged 16 – 25

250

young people were housed by The Y throughout the year

125

moved on positively into their own tenancies

Support Needs
  • Mental ill health
  • Substance misuse (drugs and alcohol)
  • Offending behaviour
  • Learning disability
  • Experience of domestic abuse
  • Childhood in poverty
  • Looked after child (historic or current)

76% of new residents had at least two support needs* 28% of new residents had at least three support needs* *in addition to homelessness

What causes homelessness?
The biggest cause of homelessness amongst our residents is family breakdown and this year we have seen an increase in young people who have experienced domestic abuse, mental ill health and learning difficulties as well as a doubling of care leavers and refugees.
What is Complex Needs?
When a young person has two or more support needs in addition to homelessness they are at a much higher risk of self-destructive behaviours, losing their accommodation and falling into a cycle of homelessness. All complex needs cases this year had experienced social housing or childhood poverty.
Our Complex Needs Work
In June 2017 we were awarded three years of funding for the complex needs worker post from The Henry Smith Charity. Our complex needs worker has contributed significantly in managing high risk/ high support cases by having dedicated time to address behaviour to prevent unplanned exits from the service. The duration of support varied between 41 to 101 days. We have also developed a robust response protocol amongst all staff for prevention of suicide and self-harm.

Support Needs

  • Mental ill health
  • Substance misuse (drugs and alcohol)
  • Offending behaviour
  • Learning disability
  • Experience of domestic abuse
  • Childhood in poverty
  • Looked after child (historic or current)
  • Sexual exploitation

76% of new residents had at least two support needs*
28% of new residents had at least three support needs*
*in addition to homelessness

What causes homelessness?

The biggest cause of homelessness amongst our residents is family breakdown and this year we have seen an increase in young people who have experienced domestic abuse, mental ill health and learning difficulties as well as a doubling of care leavers and refugees.

What is Complex Needs?

When a young person has two or more support needs in addition to homelessness they are at a much higher risk of self-destructive behaviours, losing their accommodation and falling into a cycle of homelessness. All complex needs cases this year had experienced social housing or childhood poverty.

In June 2017 The Henry Smith Charity awarded us three years of funding for our complex needs worker. This post has contributed significantly in managing high risk/ high support cases by having dedicated time and a therapeutic approach to address behaviour, preventing unplanned exits from the service.

Our Complex Needs Approach

  • Therapeutic work such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Trauma informed care
  • Building trust of adults
  • Rolling with resistance and reflective work with staff
  • Providing consistency and boundaries
  • Drug reduction work
  • Advocacy
  • Connecting to external support services

Complex Needs Outcomes

27 complex needs cases completed

93% moved on positively or sustained their accommodation
88% achieved a reduction in substance use
70% attended mental health support services

Libby’s Story

“I was absolutely petrified at being homeless after a family breakdown and I felt completely stuck because no young person should be homeless. On first coming to the Y, I was nervous but they were so welcoming and friendly. The Y has helped me with my confidence, sorting out my money and accommodation.

The Y is there for young people and it gives them a safe place to live as well as all the support they need. It really does save them”

Ambition

119

young people across Leicester and Leicestershire registered with The Y exceeding our target of 100

106

young people were helped to find accommodation with 67% sustaining their tenancy for at least 18 months.

48

young people entered work with 44% sustaining at least 6 months in full time employment.

Support needs of Ambition clients:
  • 80% had complex needs*
  • 86% Substance misuse
  • 80% Mental health issues
  • 64% Offending behaviour
  • *two or more support needs in addition to being homeless or at imminent risk of losing their accommodation

This three year project concluded in January 2018, having reached over 400 young people across the region. The project targeted homeless young people who were unable to access existing services, however they had a high level of complex needs. Once accommodated the young people were supported to access and sustain accommodation, work, education and volunteering opportunities.

These results are a testament to the support received from housing organisations including: EMH Homes, Waterloo Housing, Paragon Asra, Action Homeless, Exaireo, local housing authorities and The Bridge Housing Services (Loughborough).

In Partnership With :
Supported By :

Y Support

748

new clients this year, nearly 50% higher than last year

79

average individual visits per day, the majority between 8am – 10am.

63%

of clients are of no fixed abode (rough sleeping, sofa surfing or in squats)

The Y Support Project

Based within The Dawn Centre our day centre offers:
  • Practical help for homeless adults aged 16+: breakfast, food parcels, showers, laundry, telephone, toiletries, clothes.
  • Advice and support: personal development plans, financial management, tenancy rights and advocacy
  • Intensive support around mental health or learning difficulties
  • Groups and sessions including wellbeing, arts and Moneywise plus

Personal Development Plans

  • 974 Personal Development one to ones took place over the year, helping clients to overcome multiple challenges and prevent the cycle of homelessness
  • 87% of clients with a Personal Development Plan have achieved a big positive change in their motivation, self-care and living skills, relationships, emotional and mental health and management of their accommodation.
  • 51 clients exited the service successfully usually moving into accommodation after a period of homelessness or stabilising their current accommodation.

Donations and Volunteering

The number of homeless people seeking help in Leicester has hugely increased yet our resources remain the same. Donations of money, food, clothes and toiletries make a significant difference to rough sleepers who need immediate help. We also provide the opportunity for clients to volunteer to help with breakfast, boosting self esteem.

Jason’s Story*

Recently Jason became homeless when his landlord removed him from his flat. Jason had been in prison on seven different occasions over the last 9 years, also experiencing a destructive relationship and issues with alcohol and substance misuse. He struggled to get the help he needed but The Y Support Project has helped to address his housing situation and much more. “The Y Support Project staff see me as a person, care about my needs and make me feel like I belong. I wouldn’t have made it through those difficult months without that bit of routine. The welcome of a friendly face that asks me how I am, a hot drink and a shower when I needed it. With their support and suggestions, I’ve registered to volunteer with Voluntary Action Leicester and hope to help people like me one day. I’ve attended a music workshop and learnt to play some guitar which I really enjoyed. I have also now just secured a bedsit and have my own accommodation once again. I’m determined that I will never be homeless again. The team saw past the alcohol and drugs and cared about what was causing it instead of blaming everything on it.” *Not his real name.

Jason’s Story*

Recently Jason became homeless when his landlord removed him from his flat. Jason had been in prison on seven different occasions over the last 9 years, also experiencing a destructive relationship and issues with alcohol and substance misuse. He struggled to get the help he needed but The Y Support Project has helped to address his housing situation and much more. “The Y Support Project staff see me as a person, care about my needs and make me feel like I belong. I wouldn’t have made it through those difficult months without that bit of routine. The welcome of a friendly face that asks me how I am, a hot drink and a shower when I needed it. With their support and suggestions, I’ve registered to volunteer with Voluntary Action Leicester and hope to help people like me one day. I’ve attended a music workshop and learnt to play some guitar which I really enjoyed. I have also now just secured a bedsit and have my own accommodation once again. I’m determined that I will never be homeless again. The team saw past the alcohol and drugs and cared about what was causing it instead of blaming everything on it.” *Not his real name.

Flat 108

28

young people benefited from Flat 108

436

hours of support given to 17 young people that completed their milestone assessments at 3 and 6 months.

12

school children in years 10 and 11 received one to one support

Each young person is supported to:
  • Increase independent living skills such as travel, shopping and establishing routines
  • Improve day to day decision making skills
  • Improve social skills
  • Be empowered to identify aspirations & opportunities for their future

Our dedicated transitions team use the fully equipped, self-contained flat as a base for delivering independent living sessions to young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). Users of Flat 108 may also be vulnerable due to disadvantaged family backgrounds and risk of exploitation, bullying or coercion. We are pleased to report we are meeting our targets for numbers engaged and positive outcomes.

Simon’s Story*

Simon has an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and has difficulty making eye contact and communicating with people. His disability also means he struggles with certain noises and in certain places.

After working with the transitions team his confidence and ability have dramatically increased. Simon can travel around the local area independently, is able to budget and now attends college full time. Having met all of his goals, Simon is seen as a bit of a leader and can support others on their journey.

“When I first came, I could only make basic foods like sandwiches or microwaveable meals. Now I have learned so much about cooking full meals, shopping around for ingredients at the best prices. Flat 108 has given me the independence I need for everyday living.” *Not his real name.

Simon’s Story*

Simon has an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) and has difficulty making eye contact and communicating with people. His disability also means he struggles with certain noises and in certain places.

After working with the transitions team his confidence and ability have dramatically increased. Simon can travel around the local area independently, is able to budget and now attends college full time. Having met all of his goals, Simon is seen as a bit of a leader and can support others on their journey.

“When I first came, I could only make basic foods like sandwiches or microwaveable meals. Now I have learned so much about cooking full meals, shopping around for ingredients at the best prices. Flat 108 has given me the independence I need for everyday living.” *Not his real name.

Money Advice

YMoneyMatters

This newly launched website gives young people easy access to information and advice to improve their personal financial management skills as well as tips for living independently.

Young people were involved at all stages, inputting their own experience and helping to create relevant content.

Visit the website.

Moneywise Plus

We continue to be a delivery partner for Moneywise Plus which supports many of our residents and clients to manage their finances such as budgeting, benefits, grant applications and looking for employment.

Find out more by visiting the website.

Theatre

7

sell out shows were programmed spanning comedy, music and ballet.

121

live shows and events took place at The Y Theatre

21

community groups and organisations put on their own show.

We were so proud to receive the Lifetime Contribution at The Leicester Comedy Festival Awards 2018. The Y Theatre has been a key venue in the festival every year since it’s inception in 1994 and played host to some big stars including Johnny Vegas, Russel Brand, Dara O’Briain, Tim Vine, Jo Brand, Jason Manford, Adrian Edmonson and lots more silliness over the years.

We've Worked With

Thanks

£4500

raised at the Zip Wire Challenge across Leicester’s Victoria Park.

£3280

raised at The Leicester Legends Vs Team Y Football Match

£6884

raised via 106 young people on the National Citizen Service

It was wonderful to be joined by so many friends, service users, dignitaries, trustees, and staff at Leicester Cathedral in March to mark the start of our 135th birthday year celebrations. Food was shared and stories told to commemorate The Y’s history as a place of safety and sanctuary.

Thank you to all the staff who show dedication and tenacity every day. In February we held our first annual staff conference, featuring Jon Ashworth, MP and Wasim Khan, CEO of Leicestershire County Cricket Club, which left us all feeling energised.

We admire the many individuals and businesses who have pledged to donate or raise £135 for The Y’s 135th year. It was heart-warming to hear from our youngest supporter William, aged 10, who was “concerned for people of the home-less”, prompting him to organise a coffee morning, raffle, tombola and car boot sale with his family.

The support we received from fundraisers and donors enabled us to purchase our new van, move on bags and essential home electrical items to help young people set up home when they are ready to move out. We were also impressed to receive 252 shoe boxes of essential items from schools and community groups given as Christmas gifts to our residents.

Kathryn Hamylton

Chair

Berkeley Insurance Group and NatWest chose The Y as their Charity of the Year. We look forward to working with Gallagher next year.

“Dear YMCA, In the very cold weather last winter, my grandson William aged 10, told us how concerned he was for people of the home-less. We have now raised as much money as we can for your 135 Challenge and this amounts to £135 plus an extra £97. This was from a coffee morning, raffle, tombola and car boot sale, all of which William and our other three grandchildren helped with. Best wishes from The Watts and The Eddies”

“Young homeless people face massive challenges every day and hopefully our taking part in the zip wire challenge is a small contribution towards supporting them. The Y is an amazing organisation and we are really proud to be working with them.” Tim Maxted, Chief Executive of Berkeley Insurance Group and the High Sheriff of Leicestershire.

We admire the many businesses and individuals who donated or raised £135 to support homeless young people in 2018. We’ve had a great response, with pledges still coming in!

Board of Directors

Kathryn Hamylton (Chair), Phil Hawkins (Vice Chair), Ian Pearce, Chris Bolas, Rob Brannen, Matt Cooney, Emma Brown, Janet Bliss, Sharon Mitchell-Halliday, Ruth Woods, Tom Moore (Treasurer), Amie Blockley

Senior Staff Team

Paul Brown – Chief Executive, Tom Lin – Deputy Chief Executive/ Finance Director, Anna Maudsley - Housing Director, Joanna Smith – Business Development Director, Sandra Young – Principal Housing Officer, Nuala Facey – Support Service Manager, Kate Beaumont – Project Manager (The Y Support Project), Karen Lambert - HR Manager, Emma Knight – Fundraising and Communications Manager, Adam Durnin – Theatre and Events Manager, Sean Langley - Property and Maintenance Manager, Vicki Corbett - Executive Assistant

Finance

£2.7m

Turnover

£7,265

Cost to run the charity per day

£1,200

The Y’s annual cost for each young person living in a move on house

Our Funders

Future Projects

Could you provide a supportive home environment to a young person aged 16 - 17? If you live in Leicester we can provide training and pay up to £115 per week as a supported lodgings host. Get in touch keyproject@leicesterymca.co.uk

The Y will be leading on this 3 year, £707,500, Heritage Lottery funded project. It will engage young people through work placements and training, while heritage projects will benefit from a direct cash injection to develop innovative youth oriented projects.

Children’s Residential Services

We’re excited to announce we will be opening our first children’s home in Leicester in the Spring of 2019, to house up to three children between the ages of 7 and 18.

Theatre Feasibility Study

This study will look at the potential usage of the theatre and bar and how to maximise the heritage of the building, whilst boosting the flexibility of the space and improving the customer experience.

Regional Complex Needs

Big Lottery Fund has just awarded us £443k to replicate our complex needs model with six other YMCAs across the Midlands.