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Project information

Home for Christmas?

We want to make Christmas special for homeless young people and single parent families who may have never experienced a normal Christmas before. We will provide Christmas Lunch and a gift for 240 homeless young people and a Christmas hamper with a toy for each child for 30 single parent families.

November 2018 - December 2019

Charity information: YMCA Norfolk

YMCA Norfolk logo
  • Need


    Christmas at Home is focused on preventing social isolation and encouraging those at risk of homelessness to share in positive experiences over the Christmas period, a time that is often marked by difficult or challenging memories for young people and single parent families who are at risk of homelessness. The project also provides counselling support throughout the whole year for young people who need ongoing support to help them address trauma from their past.


    Christmas at Home helps young people experience a normal Christmas Day with lunch for up to 240 young people and a small personal gift.

    30 single parent families supported by YMCA Norfolk will receive a Christmas hamper with a toy for each child, helping alleviate the anxiety associated with not being able to provide for their family at Christmas.

    Our counselling service will address longer term issues many young people experience, such as family breakdown, having been made homeless.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce social isolation among the homeless young people at Christmas.


    » Provide 240 Christmas gifts for young people who are homeless and living in hostels in Norfolk.
    » Offer Christmas lunch to 240 homeless young people at multiple locations across Norfolk.
    » Provide 30 Christmas hampers for vulnerable single parents families in Norwich.

    What success will look like

    We will monitor the levels of engagement with YMCA Norfolk developmental programmes and levels of contact with families before, during and after the Christmas period.

    Aim 2

    To offer counselling throughout the year to residents who have identified mental health needs.


    » Counselling sessions for resident young people with mental health needs (e.g. those on lengthy waiting lists for statutory mental health services).

    What success will look like

    We will monitor the number of young people accessing YMCA counselling sessions and collate feedback from counsellees and counsellors.

  • Impact


    Our expectation is that there will be:
    1) Increased social confidence among young people
    2) Greater engagement in YMCA programmes such as 'Life Ready'
    3) Better relationships in families as a result of reduced anxiety
    4) Reduction in waiting times to access support

    This will be demonstrated through:
    1) Participation in positive activities
    2) Development recorded on the Homelessness Outcomes Star
    3) Feedback from young people and families about the impact of the support received


    We believe the primary risk is a lack of engagement from young people who are homeless.

    We will mitigate this risk by involving the young people and families who are the beneficiaries of the project in decisions about the Christmas Lunch Celebration and the nature of the gifts and hampers that are sourced.

    Another risk would be a shortfall in the number of donors who are happy to donate online.

    We will mitigate this by informing donors of our plans in advance and ascertaining interest.


    We will use social media to update all YMCA Norfolk stakeholders about the success and outcomes of this project.

    We will make direct contact with all donors who agree to this and send an initial summary following the Christmas activity plus a 6 month update about the longer term impact.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £10,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,400 Christmas Gifts £10 gift for 240 homeless young people
      £1,800 Christmas Hamper £60 food and toy hamper for 30 homeless single parent families
      £800 Christmas Day Lunch Contribution towards the costs of offering Christmas lunch to 240 homeless young people
      £5,000 Counselling Oversight and management of volunteer counselling service
  • Background


    Norfolk is a largely rural county with a population of 878,000. 40% of the population live in the major urban areas of Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and Thetford. There are significant pockets of deprivation within these areas, notably in Great Yarmouth/Norwich, where 26% / 20% of neighbourhoods are in the 10% most deprived areas across the country. The most relatively deprived domains for Norfolk are ‘Education’ (31st of 152) and ‘Barriers to housing and services’ (44th of 152).


    240 homeless young people living across Norfolk who are receiving support from YMCA Norfolk. Homeless Link identifies that 55% of young people living in homelessness accommodation have complex needs and 34% have mental health issues
    - Young and Homeless, 2015.

    30 single parent families in Norwich who are receiving tenancy support from YMCA Norfolk. Over a third of these live in accommodation falling within the most deprived 10% of the UK (English Indices of Deprivation 2015).

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We currently house and support 240 vulnerable young people who are homeless across Norfolk. We have facilities in place to provide a hot Christmas lunch for these young people.

    We provide tenancy support for 30 vulnerable single parent families in Norwich and have regular contact with them. We are in a position to offer support to them at a time when they are typically under pressure financially.

    We have a number of volunteer counsellors ready to support young people.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tim Sweeting

    CEO and direct liaison with trustees and patrons who will support the project.

    Susie Knights

    Fundraising and Marketing Manager with oversight of social media, public relations and fundraising.

    Housing Managers X 7

    Liaise directly with young people and families at various locations across to establish the best possible outcomes from the project.

    Kate Cooper

    Communications Officer who has made a tremendous impact on our social media accounts since she started working for YMCA Norfolk.