5 June 2020

We offer a variety of services, each tailored to supporting young people, children and families in our community.

  • Supported accommodation and Support and Advice:

We have over 100 homeless young people a year, coming to stay in our supported accommodation. Some stay for a few months, some for a few years. Each resident is given the time they need to journey with us.

We have three stages of accommodation across the city where young people can become part of a family.

  • Stage 1 is a 31 bedroom residential centre in St David’s Hill and is the entry point for all young people
  • Stage 2 is a set of four shared houses in Newcourt, near Ikea and the Sandy Park Stadium
  • Stage 3 is currently six, two bed shared homes in Exwick.
  • Stage 4 is 26 affordable, self contained studio flats in the centre of Exeter.

Each stage offers a varying degree of one to one and peer support and give young people, between the ages of 18-29, the opportunity to make a fresh start. We can also accommodate 16-17 year olds via a referral through Social Services.

There isn’t really a set time that young people can live at the YMCA, some stay with us for one year, others for several years as they move through our stages of accommodation before finding a permanent home of their own.

Our accommodation is specifically for young people who are coming out of homelessness and would like the support of a loving community to move forward. Some of our residents have been sleeping rough and others may have been sofa surfing or living in a tent or car. YMCA isn’t just a place to stay though. Our Link Workers support residents during their stay at YMCA so they can develop their own potential in body, mind and spirit. These areas include:

  • finding a GP
  • counselling
  • employment advice
  • emotional & physical wellbeing
  • managing debt
  • money advice
  • managing disabilities
  • maintaining accommodation
  • Children and youth services

Through Open Access Clubs we provide safe spaces where children and young people feel valued and we equip them with the tools they need to thrive.

From sports and games, to arts, crafts and residentials, we strive to inspire each young person to play a positive role in benefitting their local community. We also have informative conversations about mental health, drugs & alcohol, sex, crime, racism, money, employment, education, social media, and world issue and young people can have one to ones if they want to talk about things they are struggling with.

  • Mental health and wellbeing projects

Did you know that approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year? Even closer to home, 87% of our young people at YMCA Exeter recently told us they struggle with self-harm, depression and anxiety.

Mental health intervention is crucial for young people to thrive.

At YMCA Exeter we are committed to helping children and young people build resilience so they can cope during mental health challenges and experience fullness of life in the future. Across our projects, including supported accommodation, youth and schools work, and work with offenders, we increasingly do this by running mental health activities that improve our day to day wellbeing, develop our support networks and bring individuals out of crisis.

Our Resilience Project is enhancing the mental health and wellbeing support we can offer for children and young people in Exeter and East Devon. By enabling children and young people to build their personal resilience at the earliest possible stage we are ensuring they all have the utmost ability to thrive in adult life.

Resilience uses four keys ways to support mental health and wellbeing:

  • Social prescribing: Giving people time, focusing on ‘what matters to me’ and connecting them to existing community groups for practical and emotional support. This is delivered in partnership with Wellbeing Exeter.
  • Targeted short-term clinical intervention: CBT and evidence-based interventions for mild to moderate anxiety, low mood and behavioural difficulties. This is delivered in partnership with the University of Exeter.
  • Therapeutic activities: Including horticulture; counselling; music; movement and art as a means of resolving problematic behaviours, issues, beliefs and feelings.