A HIGHLIGHT of recent Community Consultations that YMCA Humber held at Grimsby Institute was an opportunity to catch up with young people who were formerly at our projects.
The 22-year-old has been studying Hospitality and Cake Decoration at Grimsby Institute and has his hopes set on starting his own business in the future.
But he admits that he would not be where he is without the help of YMCA Humber’s Foyer Project on Orwell Street in Grimsby.
He said: “I was referred to the Foyer by my Leaving Care worker in October 2013.
“I was living in a guest house at the time in Cleethorpes but I was struggling living independently and it was affecting my own personal care.”
By his own admission, Josh had little understanding of how to keep his room clean and complete daily tasks but staff at the Grimsby-based project worked on this with him in weekly meetings, as well as with regular room checks.
Foyer Project Manager Andrew Hornsby spoke warmly of Josh’s progress.
He commented: “With the help of our staff, Josh began to take pride in his appearance and the project allowed him to meet new friends and reacquaint himself with old ones.
“As his confidence grew, Josh would encourage his friends to make a small contribution to food and he would cook meals for them using the facilities in his room.”
Such was Josh’s new-found passion for cooking and entertaining his friends, he soon took up a Level 1 Hospitality course at Grimsby Institute, which he completed whilst still at the Foyer.
During the Christmas period of 2014, Josh felt that his progress was enough to start looking for a new flat and he prepared for that move-on with staff.
Andrew continued: “Josh came to us and spoke about his desire to live independently again, so staff spent time with him making sure he had the tools to do this successfully.
“We ensured that Josh remained focussed on the right sort of property for him and that his studies didn’t slip.
“Indeed he took on a further course in Cake Decoration, receiving funding from Barnardo’s to supply the equipment he needed.”
Upon finding a suitable flat in the area, Josh worked with staff at the Foyer for a Leaving Care move-on grant, which enable him to purchase essential items for his new property.
He carried on: “I made sure I listened to the staff at the Foyer and was patient with my move-on because it ensured I got the right flat for me and got a grant in place that would help me have it furnished ready for when I moved in.
“I finally settled in February and I feel that what I have learned at the Foyer means I now live more comfortably and maturely than I did previously.
“I still drop into the project every now and then to stay in touch with the support workers and to let them know how I am getting on at college.
“My aim is to be in a position where I can start up my own business eventually because the staff showed me the number of different career paths I could take with my qualification and there are several opportunities that I can explore.”