We're giving young people a brighter future

Posted on 20 June 2022

We’re proud that one of our main community partners in Brighton recently featured on the BBC, highlighting the impact the increasing cost of living has on young people in Sussex.

The piece (broadcast and online) featured the Youth Advice Centre (YAC) in Brighton, funded by Hyde Foundation, which offers support and advice to local young people. The charity warned that the increasing cost of living, a drop in Universal Credit payments and rising rental costs are leaving more young people at risk of becoming homeless.

The news feature highlighted how the YAC (which is part of the YMCA) has set up a food market for 16 to 25 year olds to help support them. Jessica Nattrass, one of its users said: “You can do a weekly shop for £4. When you are trying to balance bills and rent, it’s one of those pressures that it takes away.”

The YAC also helps young people find temporary homes, providing a safe place to stay for over 750 vulnerable young people every night. The BBC piece features Mapalo Bray, a 19 year old student, who found herself facing homelessness during the pandemic. She said in the piece: ‘I seriously didn’t know if I was going to end up sleeping in the park. I was turning up to college with my suitcase and I wasn’t able to focus on class because all I could think about was that I didn’t have anywhere to go.”

Connie Bielsa Rossi, Hyde’s Projects and Partnerships Manager said: “The YAC is a vital service offering advice and support for young people in Brighton - young people are finding it impossible to afford basic needs. The food market was a concept that was developed mirroring some aspects of local food providers, but tailoring the service for young people. This service has grown from strength to strength and has now become an essential service for young residents.”

Read the full BBC story on the YMCA DownsLink Group.