Before moving into YMCA Norfolk’s accommodation, Andrew was a participant of On Track – a countywide project that aims to clear barriers to work for young people in Norfolk through helping them get into education, training or employment. This is how Andrew found out about YMCA Norfolk, who are a partner in the project.
At the time, Andrew was living with family, however there were threats of violence and he said he often felt unsafe. This escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic, as an effect of ongoing lockdowns.
He moved into accommodation with YMCA Norfolk in Autumn 2020 to escape his dangerous living situation. Despite not previously living in supported housing, he said he quickly felt supported by staff and gained a sense of independence.
YMCA staff supported him with life skills such as cooking and gaining confidence in trying new things – something he previously struggled with.
“The staff at YMCA Norfolk have not only supported me, but also improved every single aspect of my life.
“I feel I have not only been protected from a dangerous living situation, but also gained more confidence and independence, as well as accessing much-needed therapy to face my past trauma.
“I’m extremely proud of myself for getting the help I need,” Andrew said.
Andrews hopes for the future include having his own flat and decorating it, as well as working towards his English GCSE.
“One day I would like to become a children’s author,” he added.
Andrew is currently working with YMCA Norfolk’s ‘Life Ready’ project: studying two separate ASDAN courses in History and Sex and Relationships. He is also engaging in positive activities, provided by YMCA Norfolk’s housing and youth engagement workers.
If you’re a young person seeking help, please get in touch with our housing team.
If you’re inspired by Andrew’s story and would like to support us in transforming young lives, please consider: ·