With the name ‘YMCA Exeter’ you could easily be forgiven for thinking that we only support young people from Exeter. But in fact, we welcome young people coming out of homelessness and needing the support of a loving community to move forward, from across the whole of the county and beyond. 

At the moment, 33% of our young people have come to us from across the county – north, south, east, west and central Devon. As the map shows, the extent of our reach within Devon alone is diverse.  

Young people move to us from across Devon because this type of service is not available in other parts of the county. For the majority of our residents, they’ve had no home, let alone transport. But living in our supported housing gives them access to Exeter college, volunteering and work opportunities, the hospital and shops. 

But YMCA Exeter isn’t just a place to stay. Our Link Workers support residents during their stay at YMCA Exeter through one-to-one counselling support, training programmes, wellbeing sessions and so much more.   

Kaya, who grew up in Holsworthy, North Devon, shares her experience of moving to YMCA Exeter: 

“When I moved to Exeter I was in a really bad place. My mental health was very low. I used to hide myself away. I was in such a dark place. I couldn’t really work and I never imagined I could have a place of my own.  
But it was the support I’ve had at YMCA Exeter that has got me back into a good place. The support workers were 100% helpful. My mental health massively improved and they gave me the confidence to believe in myself again.  
I joined YMCA Exeter’s Lighthouse Training Programme – helping in the cafe, working in the gardens and helping with the takeaway delivery service, Food Boost. It got me out of my room, it reminded me how to socialise again and helped me to make really good friends.  
I’m now working full-time and have a flat of my own at YMCA Exeter’s Sidwell Studios. I never imagined any of this would be possible.” 


We long to see every young person get the support they need so that they can thrive and move on into a future of independence.