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Project information

Christmas at YMCA Mendip

Help us to make Christmas a happy one for homeless young people and to provide food year-round with our food voucher scheme.

December 2017 - January 2018

Charity information: YMCA Mendip

YMCA Mendip logo
  • Need


    Many of the people at our supported housing projects have complex needs and display challenging behaviours, resulting in family breakdown and homelessness. Our support includes emotional, learning or physical difficulties, mental ill-health, substance misuse, offending behaviour, low self-esteem, fleeing domestic abuse. Christmas is a particularly difficult time of year for people not in the family home and year-round we help people who are, or at risk of becoming, homeless.


    We provide a warm and welcoming environment where young people can feel safe, have positive role models to talk to and receive the support they need to help them move on towards positive independent living. We help people through this difficult time of year and beyond. Our year-round £5 food voucher scheme provides a hot meal for people who, for a variety of reasons including changes to benefits, have little or no money and are at risk of ill-health and homelessness.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide practical and emotional support to homeless people during a difficult time of year


    » By providing a warm, safe, welcoming environment and traditional Christmas meal, decorations etc for young people

    What success will look like

    We have proven track record of supporting people through difficult transition in their lives and to help move them towards independent living and positive life choices.

    Aim 2

    To provide year-round support for people who are, or at risk of becoming homeless.


    » By providing vulnerable people who at risk with a £5 hot meal food voucher (redeemable at local cafes)

    What success will look like

    By providing a vulnerable person with the basics of a hot meal we can begin to develop trusted relationships and work towards providing additional support where needed.

  • Impact


    With levels of homelessness and poverty on the increase, we aim to support young people (and adults) through a variety of our services. These are linked to provide holistic support to help people make positive life choices and move toward living independently and becoming productive, engaged and happy members of our communities. We can provide case studies and statistics to support the impact of our work which also reduces pressure on other agencies.


    Securing funding for core costs to support the delivery of a quality service is a constant threat to all organisations across the voluntary sector. We hope to continue to engage with the communities in which we offer our services to make people aware of the work that we do and to encourage their support to help us transform lives.


    We will distribute a quarterly newsletter to our donors showcasing our work with case studies and good news stories to demonstrate the value of their support on people's lives

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £1,200

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      Amount Heading Description
      £500 Christmas Meal To provide a quality Christmas meal & trimmings for approx 60-70 residents across Mendip and Yeovil
      £500 Food Vouchers To provide year-round £5 food vouchers for up to 100 people
      £100 Volunteer Expenses Towards expenses incurred by our volunteers
      £100 Admin Towards administration costs of food voucher scheme
  • Background


    We provide 95 units of accommodation through supported housing units in Street, Frome, Shepton Mallet, Wells and Yeovil, and additional shared flats across both districts.
    Government statistics state that over 5000 children in Mendip live in poverty (21.8% of the population) and approx 6,800 in South Somerset (20.4%). Outwardly affluent areas in Mendip and Yeovil hide pockets of disadvantage with areas in Frome, Yeovil and Street scoring high on national statistics of multiple deprivation.


    Homeless rates are rising nationally (doubled since 2010) and our services are targeted at preventing homelessness as well as providing accommodation and support for those people whose difficulties have resulted in them losing their homes. We help mainly young people (up to 25) but also have a range of adult services including tenancy accreditation scheme, private rental sector programme and we also run an 8-bed facility for adults in Wells.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    This year, YMCA Mendip is celebrating its 125th year of working with young people around issues of housing and homelessness. Our staff are trained, supportive and committed to helping to make a difference to people's lives. We are fully embedded within the communities we serve and have built a strong team of dedicated volunteers (approx 60 people) without which we wouldn't be able to provide the quality of service we do.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    All Staff And Volunteers

    All of our staff and volunteers will work towards helping vulnerable young people, not just during the Christmas period, but throughout the year.