YMCA Project launch to help young people

Dylan Hudson with YMCA Downslink community & volunteer engagement manager Tracey Wilkes, Mid Sussex co-ordinator Kensa Cooper and new Mid Sussex mentor Gill Pawley - picture copyright Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes jasminehwilkes@gmail.com
Dylan Hudson with YMCA Downslink community & volunteer engagement manager Tracey Wilkes, Mid Sussex co-ordinator Kensa Cooper and new Mid Sussex mentor Gill Pawley - picture copyright Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes jasminehwilkes@gmail.com

A project to help young people turn their lives around will soon launch in Mid Sussex after success elsewhere.

Downslink YMCA is to start working with 16 to 25 years by encouraging them onto their Positive Placements programme

During a one year trial at the Y-Centre in Horsham, 23 years people have been helped to move on with their lives.

Downslink YMCA community and volunteer engagement manager Tracey Wilkes said: “We build up links to work in partnership with businesses and charities to offer opportunities to get into education, employment or training, but also to build the essential life skills needed to succeed.”

Dylan Hudson, 20, is one person who has successfully come through the scheme while living at the centre.

Only last year he was homeless and struggling with drug and alcohol problems.

He said: “I was homeless and I went through a bit of time with drug and alcohol misuse and got kicked out of my mother’s.

“I heard about the Y-Centre, so I went to the council and they helped me out getting the emergency room and then I managed to get into a shared flat in here.

“My mentor works closely with the job centre to find employment and education. At the moment I’m going to Borneo for ten weeks doing charity work.

“I need to fundraise to be able to go on this expedition.

“I’ll be helping make a sustainable future for vulnerable people. It’s not nice knowing people are going through things I went through, but knowing it’s 100 times worse for them.

“It’s completely different place there to over here. Things are going to be a lot more brutal than for people in my position in a place like this (the Y-Centre).”