26 October 2020

YMCA East Surrey has officially opened the doors to their new Move-On property in Merstham, inviting honoured guests to tour the newly refurbished accommodation.

The six-bedroom shared house on London Road will now become home to young people aged 18 to 25 who are moving on from higher support accommodation at YMCA Hillbrook House in Redhill and who are ready for more independent living. Other referrals are also expected from surrounding councils including Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Surrey County Council.

YMCA Housing Manager, Lee Fabry, says:

“Many of the young people who arrive at Hillbrook House are NEET – not in education, employment or training. Our housing team work tirelessly with each of them on individual five-step transition plans to change that, so that the young people can progress into education, training, or a career.”

“The ultimate aim of our housing service is to move young people into independent living, where they can support themselves. This new Move-On property is a fantastic middle step and we will provide five hours of key worker support per week to each of the residents. By developing bespoke support plans through a collaborative process, we aim to encourage the young people to define their own goals and work out strategies to overcome future challenges.”

Purchased in March 2019, the Move-On property housed four residents for six months last year but has had a complete refurbishment this year, plus the rebuilding of an extension at the back to provide an upstairs bathroom and a toilet and a shower room downstairs.

“In the last twelve months, YMCA East Surrey has provided a home to 91 young people facing homelessness,” says the charity’s Chief Executive, Ian Burks.

“We received 164 housing applications between May and June this year, which was an increase of 412% from 2019 and shows just how great the current local need is for housing projects like Hillbrook House and this Move-On property.

“We are immensely grateful to the Redhill Methodist Church, the Netherby Trust, Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and Homes England who provided the funding which has enabled this project to become an exciting reality.”

Ian Pattison, Treasurer of Redhill Methodist Church, was delighted to see the result of the church’s contribution.

“The Methodist Church was left a large bequest and we needed to put it to good use,” says Ian.

“We already have excellent links with YMCA East Surrey and were keen to use the money towards a housing project. The Move-On house is wonderful, but even more important is what will happen from here. This project is going to change people’s lives.”

Six new residents will move into the London Road house on Monday 2 November and plans for another YMCA Move-On property in Horley are currently in the pipeline.