News Stories

Kim Shippam – Young Achiever of the Year!


Sussex Central YMCA volunteer Kim Shippam was announced as YMCA England’s first Young Achiever of the Year at a national award celebration in Bridgwater last weekend (Saturday 20 November).

KimKimKim beat three other finalists in the final round of judging for the YMCA’s inaugural Youth Matters Awards. Kim scooped the top award for her strength and determination to overcome huge barriers in her life so she could build a positive future herself.

Kim first came to Sussex Central YMCA to receive support with her housing. Since then she has wanted to give something back to the organisation. She has been volunteering for several years and has been involved with many different aspects of the YMCA.

Kim said: “It’s an amazing feeling to win the Young Achiever of the Year Award, it is such an honour! I can’t believe how much my life has changed since coming to the YMCA, everyone has been so supportive and given me the chance to be a more independent and confident person. The workers have been great role models and inspired me to find a positive direction in my life. Winning an award is the icing on the cake!”

Projects Kim has volunteered for include homelessness prevention through a peer education programme; a new sexual exploitation project, and Right Here Brighton and Hove which is one of her biggest achievements. Her involvement in the Right Here project led Kim to becoming one of two representatives on the national steering group, so she is now an integral part of the overall governance structure of a multi-million pound programme for young people.

Clara Larribeau Wade, Vulnerable Young Person’s Development Worker says
“Kim has been volunteering on this project since its inception in July 2010. Kim has shown commitment to the project and turned up to every meeting with a positive and enthusiastic attitude. I’m really pleased that Kim has joined this project and she is an extremely valuable member of the group.”

Kim Shippam - Young Acheiver of the YearKim Shippam - Young Acheiver of the YearKim was presented with her award by the Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells at the YMCA’s national Thanksgiving service in Bridgwater in front of hundreds of other YMCA’s and local VIPs. You can see a clip of it here.

The YMCA Youth Matters Awards celebrates both youth workers and young people under two prestigious award categories - YMCA Young Achiever of the Year and YMCA Youth Worker of the Year. The Young Achiever Award focuses on the talents, potential and achievements of young people, and the Youth Worker Award recognises the skills, dedication and effectiveness of youth workers.

David Standing, CEO of Sussex Central YMCA said:

“We are all so proud of Kim for winning the Young Achiever Award; she truly deserves it. She battled through her own issues, including serious health problems, often putting them aside to help other young people get their lives sorted. Kim has grown as a person and moved her life on in so many ways, we are delighted to have her as part of Sussex Central YMCA, she is a real inspiration to all of us.”

Sussex Central Sleep Easy event - Sleep rough so others don't have to

Images taken from the event, courtesy of (c) Tony Mould – My Brighton and Hove WebsiteImages taken from the event, courtesy of (c) Tony Mould – My Brighton and Hove Website


On 30th January 2010, 30 brave volunteers took part in Sleep Easy and slept rough outside St Peter's church in Brighton to raise money for the invaluable work of Sussex Central YMCA.  This national event, Sleep Easy, is about sleeping rough so others don't have to.

The aim of the event was to raise awareness of the conditions many homeless young people endure every night as well as raise money to help individual young people across Sussex.  Chas Walker, Deputy CEO of Sussex Central YMCA, took part in Sleep Easy and says of his experience "it was one of the most uncomfortable and cold nights of my life.  It opened my eyes to what people who are homeless go through; sleeping rough really is soul destroying".

During the evening sleepers were encouraged by visits from The Mayor, Nancy Platts - Labour Candidate for Brighton Pavillion and Mike Weatherly - Conservative Candidate for Hove & Portslade.  The night was kicked off with a shelter building competition and entertainment including live music, story telling and games, until it was time for the sleepers to bed down for the night in their cardboard box constructions.  Temperatures dipped to -4 c and many were unable to sleep.  At 6.30am the breakfast arrived and the sleepers were very happy to go home to their warm beds.

Preparing snacks for the Sleep Easy eventPreparing snacks for the Sleep Easy event Mark, one of the sleepers reported "it was -4 c and ice formed on top of the cardboard box I was sleeping under.  Drunken clubbers with kebabs, police sirens and double-decker buses provided the soundtrack to a noisy night.  Considering I had a perfectly warm and comfy bed at home to go to it was a strange thing to be doing.  The point was to raise money and awareness for Sussex Central YMCA and the work they do to prevent youth homelessness in Brighton.  In the cardboard box next to me was a lady with her 8 year old daughter.  She was also choosing to do this for one night.  She said that if it wasn't for the support she had received from the YMCA she and her family would have been homeless and so she wanted to help the YMCA to raise money.  She also wanted her daughter to experience something of what life might be like for homeless people".


Outside St Peter's Church in BrightonOutside St Peter's Church in Brighton

The event raised over £3,000 which will go to help 3 schemes across the organisation.  Part of the money will go towards running our PEER Education project; this is a group of young people going into schools and collages to share their personal experiences of homelessness and talk about the pitfalls of leaving home too quickly including the negative impact this has had on their lives.  The funds raised will also go towards sending some of our young people who live in our hostels on a life-changing trip to Gambia where they will run sporting programmes and take sporting equipment and teaching resources out to the Gambia schools who are desperately short of resources.  The rest of the money will go into our fund which is dedicated to helping individuals who are in crisis.


Sleep Easy Event - 30th Jan 2010

 Take part in Sussex Central YMCA's Sleep Easy eventTake part in Sussex Central YMCA's Sleep Easy event


On 30th January 2010 between 8pm and 8am Sussex Central YMCA are asking people to take part in a new event called Sleep Easy and spend the night sleeping rough so others don't have to.


Sussex Central YMCA has been supporting young people across Sussex for 90 years.  Every night we provide over 130 bed spaces for young people who would otherwise be homeless.

Resident and volunteer Kim says of Sussex Central YMCA: "they helped me when I needed a roof over my head.  When I wasn't very well and had no one to turn to Sussex Central YMCA supported me.  I don't like to think about what would have happened to me if Sussex Central YMCA wasn't there."

Challenge yourself, have fun and raise money to support Sussex Central YMCA's work with homeless young people by spending a night sleeping out under the stars (cardboard boxes provided by Big Yellow Storage!).  The Sleep Easy event will take place in the grounds of the recently reopened St Peter's Church with a fun-packed programme including live music, story telling and giant games.

Registration fee is £10 and includes supper and breakfast by Bagelman, Pret a Manger and McDonalds.

 Support our event!Support our event!

Help Sussex Central YMCA continue this vital work with young people and sign up for Sleep Easy today!


For a Registration Form or for more details contact Liz Rogers on: 01273 222581

Alternatively to download our Registration Form please click here (PDF 1.23MB) 


YMCA go West (and East and North!)

A local ninety year old charity which supports children, young people and families is undergoing a name change, to better reflect the large area where they now offer a range of services.

Hove YMCA was founded in 1919, with their main remit being to work with just the local community of West Hove. However, the last 15 years has seen the charity grow from a staff team of six, based at Marmion Road, Hove, to over 250 workers across the city of Brighton and Hove, and into East and West Sussex.

The new name - Sussex Central YMCA - will help create a clearer identity for the YMCA and create less confusion with its service users. Services across Sussex will include:

  •     Providing housing advice and supported housing.
  •     Developing training and employment opportunities for young people.
  •     Youth advice centre.
  •     Youth, sport and community activities.

Chief Executive of Sussex Central YMCA, David Standing said, “Following a recent merger with the ‘Y’ Centre in Horsham, and the incorporation of Mid Sussex YMCA, we have now changed our name from Hove YMCA to Sussex Central YMCA.”

“In recent years our services in housing, youth advice, training, counselling and youth work have extended beyond the boundaries of the City of Brighton & Hove into both East and West Sussex, and so we felt we needed a name that better reflects our geographical coverage. We still have a strong focus on delivering services locally, and building partnerships with our local authorities, NHS trusts and other key partners.”

More details on Sussex Central YMCA, including all contact details, can be found at

Yes, Minister. The Job is Going Great!

Future Jobs: Minister Jonathan Shaw, MP and Celia Barlow, MP chat to some of Hove YMCA’s Future Jobs workers.Future Jobs: Minister Jonathan Shaw, MP and Celia Barlow, MP chat to some of Hove YMCA’s Future Jobs workers.Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department for Work and Pensions Minister for the South East, Jonathan Shaw MP, and local MP Celia Barlow, made a special visit to Sussex Central YMCA to talk to the YMCA’s latest recruits.

Sussex Central YMCA have recently employed 30 young people through the Future Jobs Fund – a government scheme to give paid work placements and training for 18 to 24 year olds. A further 72 jobs will be created over the next 14 months.

The Minister spent two hours chatting to the Future Jobs workers, and learnt about their new jobs in retail, electrical refurbishment, marketing, administration and sports work.

The Minister said, “I commend the excellent work being done by YMCA and the City Council in the economic downturn to give young people who are struggling the opportunity to get on the employment ladder.

“The enthusiasm and potential of young people will be vital as we start to move out of the recession so we need to give them the chance to flourish.

Achieving Independence with Sussex Central YMCA

Hove YMCA provides a range of services to help young people in their transition between dependence and independence, allowing them to develop independent living skills, find suitable accommodation and sustain a tenancy on their own.

This year has been highly successful for Sussex Central YMCA's housing services as they continue to help young people struggling with the economic issues affecting employment, housing and access to education.

Hove YMCA's supported housing especially helps young people to move from crisis point to independence though three levels of support:


  • Two high support hostels with 24 hour staff support on site
  • Two medium support hostels with staff support on site within office hours
  • Three hostels with low level floating support

There is also independent accommodation for young people in the form of a flat share.

The young people accommodated within Sussex Central YMCA supported housing schemes have access to:

  • Regular one to one key working
  • Advice and support to access employment education or training
  • Access to basic numeracy and literacy learning program
  • An individual support plan with mutually agreed goals and deadlines
  • Reward scheme including trips to the cinema, bowling and theme parks


For more information about our services enbaling young people to achieve independence:

Housing Advice


Supported Housing


Skillz for Life


Training, Education and Employment


Make Spring Green with Hove YMCA

Have you ever wondered why Sussex Central YMCA has charity shops? Is it just to provide shopping bargains for fridges, frocks and front room furniture? Well, yes and no.

Profits from the shops are put to work directly into the numerous projects of Sussex Central YMCA. Without this vital source of income many projects would come to an end, meaning that young people in the city would be without the help and support they need.

Also, by refurbishing unwanted electrical appliances, repairing furniture and giving bric-a-brac new homes, Sussex Central YMCA charity shops stop perfectly good items from ending up at the rubbish tip. This means less landfill, less incineration, a lower carbon footprint and a healthier environment.

Each year, Sussex Central YMCA diverts 440 tones of perfectly useable furniture, clothing and electrical items from ending up in landfill. This equals 5000 electrical items, 12,000 items of furniture and enough clothing to last the children in the picture a lifetime.


Your donations can now provide 28% more help to Sussex Central YMCA

It is now possible for Sussex Central YMCA to claim Gift Aid on all items donated to our charity shops. This means that for every item sold in the shop, Sussex Central YMCA can claim 28% extra on the sale price from the Inland Revenue. All you need to do is fill in a simple form – and that’s it – Sussex Central YMCA will do the rest at no cost or time to you. And 28% more children, young people and families will benefit from our vital services.

To donate now click here.

To find out more about Sussex Central YMCA's charity shops, contact Mark Roberts, Operations Manager at 


Find Your Nearest Shop


Get Your Unwanted Items Collected


Volunteer in a Sussex Central YMCA Shop

Homelessness Sunday 2009


Homelessness Sunday, 1st February, is part of Poverty & Homelessness Action Week 2009. PHAW is a unique, annual opportunity for churches, church groups as well as other groups, to raise the profile of poverty, housing and homelessness related issues within local churches and the wider community, including rural communities, towns and cities across the UK.

So far this winter Hove YMCA Housing Team has been approached by over 200 young people in need of help with homelessness or problems that may lead to them becoming homeless.

Hove YMCA asks for your support for their work with homeless young people. Hove YMCA offers advice and support to prevent homelessness and provides help and shelter to those that have no place to call home.

Children's Commissioner Visits Sussex Central YMCA

On Thursday 5th June, Sussex Central YMCA’s Youth Advice Centre was pleased to receive a visit from Sir Al Aynsley Green, Children’s Commissioner for England. The Commissioner has been visiting children and young people across the country to hear their ideas and opinions about what the government can do for them.

Special Week for Hove YMCA Volunteers

Sussex Central YMCA Volunteers

National Volunteers' Week, from the 1st to 7th June, is the annual celebration of volunteering. National Volunteer Week website. To mark National Volunteers’ Week, Sussex Central YMCA asked a volunteer to interview some of the many volunteers from across the organisation to show the wide ranging and varied work the volunteers do and how they contribute to the work of Sussex Central YMCA.





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Volunteers Needed!

Make the most of your Empty Home!

We are interested in renting your property, doing it up and letting it out. For more info call: 01273 222550 or email us: