West Kent YMCA is an independent local charity set up in 1990 to help at-risk and disadvantaged young people to find their foothold in life and build a better future. The charity works intensively with a small number of clients offering professional, caring, holistic support so residents, trainees and other youth work participants can regain hope, self-esteem, security and emotional support to make informed choices for themselves gaining some tools or skills for life, for work and for living and thus achieve lasting independence.
The DM Thomas Foundation for Young People awarded West Kent YMCA £4,083 towards their Say Yes to Youth Programme to engage equip and empower young people to build a better future. The funding has supported two programmes, Cooking on a Budget, providing a two year grant for teaching residents how to manage their finances and still cook healthily, and the Duke of Edinburgh Programme, providing ration packs for expedition training.
These are two of the stories of the young people West Kent YMCA is helping:
One young lady came to the ‘Cooking on a Budget’ programme to learn to make easy and simple meals. She had arrived from care and was unable to cook, or budget. So far she has attended 4 cooking sessions with the cooking programme and is continuing one to one cooking sessions each week with her support worker. She is now able to plan a week of meals which are inexpensive and healthy.
A young person who suffers from anxiety and agoraphobia is slowly engaging and has enrolled to start her Duke of Edinburgh award. This young lady has chosen to learn to cook as her new skill. She initially did not feel able to come to the cooking group but was happy to learn to make simple meals that she could share with other residents. Recently she cooked spaghetti carbonara for 20 residents.