ROSS, 26, moved back into YMCA in April 2016 and, with the support received from staff at the charity’s Peaks Lane Housing Project, he aims to make it his last stay.
Initially Ross was sofa surfing when he applied for a room a YMCA, having moved from Scunthorpe to Grimsby to stay with friends after leaving a violent relationship.
Speaking of his stay at YMCA, he said,
“When I arrived I was greeted by a women called Toni – she made me a cup of tea and was really welcoming.
“I’ve stayed at YMCA on a couple of occasions before – I felt differently about this stay though.
“But I felt more at ease thanks to the staff and the other residents.
“I was made to feel welcomed by everyone.”
Living at YMCA
Ross spoke about various activities and projects he took part in during his stay at YMCA.
He said: “I got really involved with the Orchard Project, it was good for me as it filled my time while learning new skills.
“When you are unemployed there isn’t a lot to do other than sit around watching TV or playing pool.
“The Orchard Project was one of the various projects and volunteering opportunities I took part in.”
Ross also turned his hand to helping serve other residents through a voluntary role in the Peaks Lane kitchen.
He continued: “I really enjoyed working in the kitchen.
“I had previously done catering at college and I was able to advance skills I had previously learned.
“Jane, our chef, really supported me, I really enjoyed working alongside her.
“I feel it really helped me build a good relationship with the staff and other residents”
Support at YMCA
“I thought the way the support at YMCA worked really well. I had 3 coaches that I could go to as the staff worked in teams,” Ross said.
“That meant that the majority of the time there was someone I could talk with or go to with problems I was having – it was good because each coach had a different approach.
“I’ve found my time at YMCA really helpful –getting involved in the Orchard Project has been a highlight for me personally.”
“If I wasn’t in the Orchard I was in the Kitchen, both of these activities have helped me develop.”
“I have been applying for jobs in local kitchens and I am currently waiting to hear back from an apprenticeship opportunity in a restaurant.”
Speaking to others who may find themselves in similar situations Ross said: “If you have landed on difficult times and are looking for a place to turn the YMCA could be the place for you.”
“I would tell anyone who finds there way there to get involved with the projects going on and communicate with support staff.”
“It really does help, when I first got there I was coming of cannabis and the projects and sports hall helped occupy my mind and change my habits.”
“As soon as I found out about the gym and the sports hall I was straight in there releasing anger and tension.”
“I have suffered with anger issues in the past and knowing the sports hall was there if I ever felt stressed I could just go in there to kick a football around for half hour.”
Ross prepares for a Positive Move-on
Ross discussed the tools he felt he had gained during his time at YMCA such as help with budgeting
“When you get your own place you can’t be falling behind with your rent,” he said.
“The support staff helped me learn how to budget my money, I learnt so much while I was in there – vital life skills”
“People are different, there are young and old people who may need support with budgeting, but that support is there if you need it.”
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