In the run up to Christmas, local charity, YMCA Downslink, are launching a fundraising campaign, called #GiftLove, to encourage people to buy just one extra gift this year; a gift that will really make a difference. A donation of £20 is enough for the charity to provide a night’s accommodation for a vulnerable young person at risk of homelessness. Last year YMCA Downslink, which operates across Sussex and Surrey, provided over 1,400 young people who were homeless or leaving care with somewhere to live.
Nikki Mason, Director of Fundraising and Communications, explains the idea behind the campaign.
“We’ve chosen the name #GiftLove because it underpins our mission as a charity. Christmas can be an especially difficult time for the young people we look after, particularly as many have suffered a breakdown in their close family relationships. We recognise that when they arrive at our door, often in crisis, young people need so much more than a room. Not only do we provide them with a safe place to live, but crucially we give them a sense of belonging and a feeling of family; we give them back hope for their future.”
Donating to YMCA Downslink will have an effect long after the Christmas festivities are forgotten. The charity works all year to support local young people. It’s primary aim is to support them on a journey from dependence to independence through a range of ongoing services. This includes one-to-one key work sessions and an individual care plan as well as access to employment training and education advice, counselling and advice services. Last year, 75% of young people leaving YMCA Downslink’s accommodation projects went on to live independently successfully and are actively engaged in employment, education or training.
To find out more or to donate visit: www.ymcadlg.org/gift-love