Leicester YMCA awarded 1 Million Lottery Grant

Friday, 19th May, 2011
Leicester YMCA has been awarded close to £1 Million from the Big Lottery Fund to ensure the best life chances for young people leaving care or young offenders' institutes.

The Y-PoD project will provide access to housing, health services, education, training and employment opportunities through a single gateway based at Leicester YMCA's newly refurbished building on Granby Street due to reopen in July 2011. A dedicated staff team will provide one to one support for young people, assessing their needs and aspirations and helping them take the right steps to establishing their independence.

The project will be delivered in partnership with Leicester City Council, Connexions Leicestershire and Leicester City Primary Care Trust. Paul Brown, Chief Executive of Leicester YMCA, said: "This funding will greatly enhance the work that Leicester YMCA and its partners already do with young offenders and care leavers. The success of the Y-PoD bid is a reflection of the strength of partnership working between the voluntary and statutory sector."

Assistant City Mayor Cllr Mohammed Dawood said: "This is excellent news for Leicester. The city council is committed to safeguarding and improving the lives of all of our young people. This funding will enable us to work even more closely with Leicester YMCA - and other agencies - to improve the life-chances of some of the most disadvantaged young people in the city."

Y-PoD aims to combat the barriers that young people leaving care and young offenders institutes often face such as; leaving care before they are ready, inappropriate accommodation, reduced opportunities to access further education or training and being stigmatised by their background.

Leicester YMCA is one of only 30 projects nationally which has successfully achieved the Youth in Focus funding from Big Lottery Fund. It is a local charity with a strong track record of supporting and empowering young disadvantaged people through housing and education, sports and arts programmes.

A current resident said: "I was in and out of care since I was 13 and I have been moved around a lot. I have not been in a stable place for years. Leicester YMCA is the longest I have lived in one place since then. The staff are very supportive and they understand my situation. They want to help me get my life on track and support me to get my own flat and keep it."



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