12 July 2016

The UK will welcome a new Prime Minister tomorrow as Theresa May moves into Number 10.

Back in April, Mrs May paid a flying visit to YMCA Hillbrook House in Redhill to see how young people are saved from falling into a life of crime. During her brief stopover she took a tour around YMCA Hillbrook House, which offers accommodation and ongoing support to young people who would otherwise be homeless.

Mrs May said, “If you intervene early before it is too late this prevents re-offending. Projects like this are not just about support but being able to intervene when they are in touch with the wrong people and there is peer pressure and family pressure.” She also heard about YMCA East Surrey’s other charitable projects which help vulnerable young people to turn their lives around.

Shan Johnson, a counsellor as part of YMCA’s Heads Together project – a free and confidential service for young people aged 14 to 24, said, “We have found that early intervention builds resilience and self esteem since more than 75 per cent of mental health issues start by age 18. Young people really benefit from coming to counselling. We help prevent young people falling into crime and increase their employability.”

Since September 2015, YMCA has spent more than 470 hours on youth work interventions in Reigate and Banstead, Tandridge and Mole Valley which includes work with local communities, teaching creative skills, the gym and offsite trips outside of term time.