YMCA Norfolk launches Home for Christmas plea
YMCA Norfolk has launched a Home for Christmas campaign which aims to help ensure that no young person in Norfolk has to sleep on the street, in cars or on friends’ floors this Christmas and is asking local churches to support the appeal with their Christmas collections.
This Christmas, YMCA Norfolk will provide a safe home for over 260 homeless young people and support them towards a brighter future - people like 21-year-old Leah Jenkinson from Norwich.
Last September, Leah moved into YMCA supported lodgings after a relationship breakdown with her family.
“In the run-up to Christmas I was not looking forward to it and thought I would be lonely and sad,” she said. “But things changed for me, my supported lodgings providers gave me a Christmas I couldn’t have dreamed of.
“At first I was nervous about Christmas as I didn’t want to intrude, but my providers welcomed me into their family traditions. I got to spend the day playing games and enjoying myself. They showed me what a Christmas could be like and helped me make the best of the situation I was in. We all cooked together and shared the day, I was included in every aspect.
“I thought Christmas would be a day spent alone, but this was not the case, I was able to enjoy myself, and the trouble of the past couple of months faded for a day,” said Leah.
“I never thought I would be included in someone else’s Christmas and the fact that I was will stay with me forever.”
YMCA Norfolk chief executive, Tim Sweeting, said: “There are children and young people out there who are sleeping on the streets, in cars, or on a series of friends’ floors until they run out of options.
“They have no safe base from which to build a life for themselves. So we are encouraging the local community to join us in making sure no child or young person experiences the instability and fear of having no place to call home.
“As the winter weather draws in we become all the more aware of children, young people and families who are without a home. Last year we would have needed an additional 285 homes to house all the people who applied to us,” said Tim. “So we are redoubling our efforts to provide a safe warm home through our ‘Home for Christmas?’ campaign.”
You can help support someone like Leah this Christmas and give them hope for the future.
Text YMCA15 and your amount to 70070 to make your donation.
Donate online at Virgin Money Giving
Donate offline by sending a cheque to YMCA Norfolk, 35-37 Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1DP
What your donation could do
£10 would provide a Christmas gift for a young person who might otherwise go without.
£15 would pay for a bed for the night on Christmas Eve.
£75 would provide a Christmas food hamper for a single parent family
£250 would pay for Christmas dinner for all the young people in one of our housing services.
£1,250 would pay for all the food we use in our housing services over Christmas and New Year.
£3,500 would provide all the young people we are supporting with a Christmas gift.
Find out more at www.ymcanorfolk.org/homeforchristmas
Pictured above is Leah Jenkinson.