YMCA residents speak up about the Cost of Living Crisis


Focus groups involving over 20 young people from our accommodation in Mansfield and Goole have contributed to a report released by YMCA England & Wales titled ‘Trapped in the Cost of Living crisis’.

Staff helped set up sessions for the young people to attend at each site with Anna Hallissey, Research Manager at YMCA England & Wales, leading the discussions. The focus groups discussed how the last 18 months have been, which price increases they have felt the most, how they have adapted and the impact this has had on them.

Discussing issues like Food Poverty and Insecurity resident F (17), Goole, noted how: “It’s cheaper to buy scran bits than cook a meal. I can spend a tenner and get like 25 packs of biscuits. A tenner, that’s not going to get me nothing for fresh food.” O (20), Mansfield noted how when accessing food banks, they “… never expected myself to be in that situation, you know what I mean, like but I thought there’s someone who needs it more than me, but then when I went, like, three days without eating, I was like, “No, I need to be able to get some food”.

Residents also spoke about the hidden costs for some groups of young people such as V (17) and N (18), Goole who discussed how “Being trans is expensive…” as it can “…cost at a minimum £30 for one binder.” Others are missing out on seeing family such as P (18), Goole, who said: “I’ve got to go see my granddad at his wedding which, I don’t really get much time left with my granddad, because he’s getting cancer and it’s spreading and all that. It’s really sad, because you want to go see them as much as you can.”

B (19), Mansfield summed it up by saying “It’s not even your luxuries, man, it’s just wanting to be a human being rather than just surviving.” 

“As the world’s largest youth charity, we witness the harsh realities of this crisis daily, seeing young people struggle to scrape by,” stated Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales. “Immediate action is crucial to implement these recommendations and ensure that young people can live with dignity and look forward to a brighter future… YMCA is dedicated to supporting young people through these turbulent times and calls for collective action to tackle the systemic challenges identified in the report. With the right measures in place, policymakers can create a future where all young people can thrive.”

Niki Parr, Partnership & Pathway Manager, said “It was fantastic for our staff and young people to be involved and have their voice heard, I am proud to work for an organisation leading the way on behalf of young people in supported housing in raising their voices at the highest levels.”

You can read more and download the full report here: https://yhub.org.uk/news/young-people-trapped-in-cost-of-living-crisis-face-desperate-choices

If you would like to help young people like the ones in the report please consider sponsoring a room. Find out more here: https://www.nottsymca.com/roomsponsor/