Blackburn YMCA was established in 1896 and whilst our client group and services have changed over the years we have always prioritised helping society. We provide safe and secure accommodation for homeless young people in Colne, Nelson, Accrington, Haslingden, Bacup, Clitheroe and Blackburn. Blackburn YMCA also manages the New Beginnings Project (funded by Big Lottery) which uses a peer support model to help Refugees and Asylum Seekers settle and integrate into their new communities. We help young people who are seeking accommodation on release from young offenders institutes; young people working towards achieving Youth Achievement awards; and young people who have formed a youth forum that examines and considers local and national issues.
We have accommodated and supported 244 young people over the 11 years the project has been running. Many have gone on into independent accommodation having found work, some have gone on to university, some now have young families of their own. The New Beginnings Project has helped hundreds of people from 26 different countries to integrate into UK life and it has reached around 2000 school children and adults through its awareness raising work.
Young People need somewhere safe to live and someone to support them to help them progress positively into adulthood. Not all young people are able to stay in a family home, but they need, but all young people need somewhere safe to live, and someone to support and guide them to help them progress positively into adulthood. Refugees and Asylum Seekers have experienced unimaginable trauma and loss, they arrive in a strange country with alternative cultures, and they need help to settle and integrate positively into the community. The indigenous population needs help to understand why people arrive from other countries and the New Beginnings Project works with community groups and schools to encourage open conversations with the aim of reducing intolerance and racism.
Continue to provide services that are relevant to the communities we serve.