25 February 2019

My name is Sammy and I am 25 years old. I live at Barley Wood and have been completing an apprenticeship in hospitality for the past year.

Nearly 3 years ago I found myself homeless due a family breakdown. So in March 2016, my cousin told me to approach YMCA for support. I went to YMCA and without hesitation they offered me support and a safe place for me to live.

Since moving in I have received lots of support around my independent living skills, managing my emotions, relationships, mental health and much more.

My advice to young people going in the YMCA is to always say how you feel and don’t hide anything from them. The YMCA is always there for you.

During my time at YMCA I hit rock bottom a few times, but with the help and support from my support worker Margarita, I have managed to pick myself up and carry on.

My goal for the future is to finish my apprenticeship and have my own cleaning business.

“If it wasn’t for the YMCA I will be no one. YMCA have given me life.”

Sammy Jo – 25