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YMCA Norfolk supports young people during crisis 

YMCA Norfolk’s housing services arm continues to provide a safe home for 240 young people, many with medium to high risk and often complex needs. Susie Knights reports.

The young people move into our accommodation after having chaotic lives and experiencing trauma. Our first priority is making those people feel safe and secure as many of our young people’s anxieties have been heightened due to Covid-19.
We are having to make significant changes to how we operate. For example monitoring residents’ physical and mental health, interactions with others, encouraging social distancing, making adaptations when serving food etc.
What we are finding a challenge is keeping our young people ‘entertained’. They have found themselves almost stuck in a building with little to do. We are being creative with how we run our positive activities however, running these and sticking to government guidelines are proving difficult.

All our young people are struggling to find meaningful activity or indeed enough of any type of activity to keep them engaged.  Our staff are doing an amazing job at providing opportunities for them but there is challenges in maintaining quarantines and managing all aspects of their care.  We are considering the purchase of some tablets or tech to enable further interaction and opportunities, for instance some young people have expressed an interest in making a short film or video blogs.  
There are obviously many daily challenges across our association but the young people remain our priority and we mostly want to ensure our holistic approach is upheld. We believe that young lives can be transformed even in these challenging times.


Where do you operate: Across Norfolk especially Norwich, King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth
Address: Head Office, 35-37 Exchange Street, Norwich, NR2 1DP
Contact: 01603 621263 or

Our needs:
What would be great is if we could have access to some sort of interactive platform for the young people to engage with and to enable them to video chat with friends and family.
Additional funding in order to purchase the equipment to facilitate this would be amazing, we could then put on quizzes, exercise sessions, and crafting lessons etc.
Young people in some of our services are catered  for breakfast and an evening meal, however they are struggling to get lunch as their usual places are closed and we are trying to keep them quarantined.  We are therefore providing lunch as well, this is not budgeted for and we need to look for funding.
Covid-19 is having a significant financial impact on YMCA Norfolk, and if you would like to offer support to keep these vital services in place please donate via the online giving page.
Please pray: We would appreciate prayer for: 

  • Safety and security of all our young people, staff and volunteers and the families that we house and support.
  • Unity and strength within YMCA Norfolk to uphold our values of being hope filled, inspiring and empowering at this difficult time.
  • That God will provide the funding and resources we need to deliver our mission and the basic needs and additional support required.
  • For wisdom and vision for our board, executive and leadership teams as they steer us through this period of uncertainty and challenge. 
  • YMCA's around the world who are delivering a wide range of services, that our light as a Christian movement will shine brighter than ever and continue to impact and transform communities. 

Susie Knights is Marketing and Fundraising Manager at YMCA Norfolk

Covid-19 is having a significant financial impact on YMCA Norfolk, and if you would like to offer support to keep these vital services in place please donate via the online giving page.
Pictured above are YMCA Norfolk staff wearing personal protective equipment.

Published: 09/04/2020