The Duke of Sussex visited the YMCA South Ealing to meet some of the young residents who live at the centre, some of the team that look after their residents’ mental wellbeing, and a number of organisations who are all working to change the conversation on mental health for young people in the UK.
YMCA is the largest provider of safe, supported accommodation for young people in England and Wales. In total, they offer more than 9,100 beds each night, giving people somewhere to stay both in emergencies, in hostels and in supported longer-term accommodation. Through their local association network they also provide mental health services to 17,000 young people each year through a mix of knowledge and awareness workshops, family mediation and therapeutic services.
One of the Mental Health champions he met was Sophia. When she was 12, she left school to become a young carer for her mother and grandmother. Tragically, both passed away when she was still just a teenager, and her mental health suffered as a result. She then found YMCA and has gone from strength to strength – working on their Young Carers programme and using everything she’s been through to make a real and positive difference to other young people’s lives.