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Emily moved out of her family home when she was 18 and spent the following months sofa surfing with friends. This wasn’t an ideal situation, so she reached out to YMCA MK.

When Emily moved into our accommodation, she had just lost her job and felt like she had nothing to live for anymore. The first step in supporting Emily was to help her improve her mental wellbeing. We did this by offering Emily counselling sessions via our free in-house service, which is run by YiS Young People’s Mental Health.

During this time, Emily was not working and fell into rent arrears. In order to help Emily manage her finances, she was supported by her Keyworker to create a budget. This helped Emily to identify all her outgoings and when payments were due.

The next step in helping Emily to become financially independent was to support her back into employment. She worked with one of our Employment Coaches to create a CV and then started to contact local companies who were recruiting in the area. This exercise improved Emily’s confidence and helped her to identify and talk confidently about her skills and strengths. Emily was successful in her job search and once she was settled into her new role, she moved from our shared accommodation to our independent living housing, which offers young people the opportunity to live in one of our studio flats on campus.

For many of our residents, the lockdown periods during 2020/21 were really difficult and Emily felt the isolation very challenging. She had to shield for much of the year, but was supported by the staff and reassured that there was always someone to talk to. When needed, a member of staff would have a socially distanced chat to check in and make sure that Emily felt supported.

With restrictions now easing, Emily is doing really well and thriving in her job and studio flat. It has been wonderful to watch Emily flourish and when the time comes, we will continue to support her as she prepares for life beyond YMCA MK.