15 November 2019

‘C’ moved in to the YMCA on Tuesday 26th May 2015; and although being really happy at the prospect of moving in, the new environment proved quite stressful.

When ‘C’ grew up she spent a lot of time traveling with her mum and was therefore home schooled; however she was never taught to read or write.

When ‘C’ joined college at the age of 16, she found it very difficult; and not being able to read, created unexpected difficulties that other people wouldn’t consider. ‘C’ would get lost quite a lot because she couldn’t read signs or numbers; and she remembers feeling very trapped. Even now she still carries the fear of getting lost.

‘C’ progressed at college and got onto an Art Course and completed a GSCE and an A-Level in Art. In September 2018, ‘C’ applied for university, and was accepted at Bath University for an Art degree (Contextual Art Studies) with an unconditional placement for September 2019. ‘C’ was ecstatic about this.

Since ‘C’s’ arrival in 2015 YMCA staff:

  • Provided ‘C’ with a place to call home and supported her to settle
  • Found volunteers to help ‘C’ with her reading and writing (and although it is still a struggle), this has helped her tremendously; especially with support completing homework, as they scribed what she needed to write out
  • Provided ‘C’ with fond memories of cooking and the social benefits that communal cooking gave her.
  • Supported ‘C’ through college, with contact being made with her tutor and student support services.
  • Provided a move on opportunity to allow ‘C’ to rent her own flat and gain a small amount of independence, but with continued support
  • Assisted with setting up bills, dealing with post and linking with other agencies such as DWP, Mendip District Council, College and Live West
  • Supported ‘C’ with applying to and visiting university to meet with the student support team and tutors there
  • Assisted with transport, interviews and paperwork relating to University
  • Applied for a number of bursaries to help ‘C’ with the financial requirements of going to university
  • Arranged ‘C’s’ university accommodation and helped her organise the move to a new city, and deal with landlords from both her old and new tenancy
  • Accompanied and supported ‘C’ during Fresher’s Weeks at University (even though her support worker was meant to retire the week before, but stayed on so that she could support ‘C’ with the transition)!!

About her journey with YMCA Mendip & South Somerset ‘C’ said ‘If someone were to ask me about the YMCA I would tell them that it is a friendly place for people who need help, and I would tell them that the YMCA has helped me.

In the future, I hope to one day be a multi-millionaire. I have plans to write children’s books and illustrate them myself. I may also do commissions for paintings, or go into Art Conservation. Maybe one day I will have my own shop or art gallery. Anything really’.