Help us support children and young people in East Surrey

YMCA East Surrey supports some of the most vulnerable people in our community. The current COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone, but especially people who already needed extra support, and has also made it more difficult for charities like us to achieve our mission of helping people to belong, contribute and thrive.

We rely on funding for our charitable work through income from our universal services and fundraising events, but these activities have stopped due to the lockdown. Despite this, our dedicated staff and volunteers are going the extra mile to help those in need within our communities.

We urgently need your help to continue this important work. In particular, we need your help to support the following groups of vulnerable young people who are being directly affected by this crisis:

Homeless young people

Our dedicated frontline housing staff provide 24/7 support, 365 days a year to young people aged 16-25 years old in our supported housing scheme in Redhill. Without family support, these young people rely on our staff more than ever to provide guidance and reassurance at this difficult time to help them maintain social distancing and stay safe without feeling isolated and alone.

You can help to ensure that young people in supported housing have access to support staff and activities, as well as day-to-day essentials like food, during the lockdown.

Children with disabilities

YMCA East Surrey provides short breaks for over 400 families of children with disabilities. Many of these children also have underlying health issues and need ongoing support and care at all times. During lockdown, these families are under enormous strain and aren’t able to access our usual short break sessions.

You can help us to support these families with a host of online activities and practical advice to help them through a stressful time. Our staff will offer a befriending service for 145 of the most vulnerable families, including weekly contact and where necessary, collection of shopping and essential items, like medication.

Young people with mental health issues

Social isolation combined with worries about family members becoming ill from the virus can be a tough burden for young people to deal with, especially for those who may already have mental health issues.

You can help our qualified counsellors to provide free one-to-one counselling through video or telephone calls, as well as secure online mental health support groups so young people can talk through their feelings with their peers and trained staff.

“Without our usual sources of charitable income and with the added demands from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, we will struggle to fund this vital work and so we need your help,” says Ian Burks, CEO, YMCA East Surrey.

“We are already humbled by the generous offer of over 200 of our gym members who have donated their membership fees while our gym services are closed to help fund our services. Not forgetting our amazing Challenge Event participants, many of whom are transferring their places on to events next year, but donating this year’s fees to us to help our services  This is an amazing gesture at a time when everyone is experiencing their own difficulties.”

“Any donation, however big or small, will make a difference for the young people we are working with. Please support our work to help young people to find the resilience and confidence needed to safely get through the next few months.”

“Thank you on behalf of everyone at YMCA East Surrey and the people we work with.”