The new building is replacing the premises that MK YMCA already have and will offer newly kit out rooms and studio apartments for young people who are in need.
The MK YMCA will offer a three stage pathway in its new building, the first stage ‘Belong’ will be a re-provision of their hostel with 30 rooms, where residents will stay for around 3-6 months, while they learn independent living skills, including cooking, budgeting and managing a tenancy. The second stage, ‘Contribute’ will be in the form of shared accommodation with around 7-12 rooms with a shared kitchen and living room. The support that the residents receive in this stage of residency will be focused on resident wellbeing, self-confidence, esteem and motivation. The third stage, ‘Thrive’ will be self-contained studio apartments and 1 bedroom flats. The residents will have been supported with help in finding employment by this stage, and the rents for these flats will be at 80% of the market rate, and somewhere in the range of £100 a week, so affordable for young people in low-paid employment.
Before taking the tour, we were briefed on the safety aspects we needed to be aware of and we were informed that we would need to wear hard hats, High-Vis vests and steel toe-capped boots for safety measures. We were then walked around to the construction site and had our first glance of the impressive new building. Simon Green, CEO of MK YMCA, led the tour, and walked us through what each part of the building would be like and the different areas that would be available. The building will offer various different ways for the residents to gain work experience in different social enterprises that will be available in the building, from an on-site nursery, to the café facility that will be available for some of the residents to receive free meals, and will also be open to the public.
As we travelled up through the building, using the builders metal stairs and the scaffolding that surrounded, we were able to see the shells of the rooms that will eventually be transformed into the new homes and living spaces for young people in need in Milton Keynes.
Milton Keynes YMCA are also committed to helping their residents get into employment by helping with employment skills and experience; they will be offering emotional as well as employment support on site, with staff members being available 24/7 to help when needed.
The campus will have 50 more rooms than the previous accommodation buildings that MK YMCA had, and is scheduled to open its doors in September.
MK YMCA say their “aim is to support all the young people who live in our building to leave us with a sense of well-being, suitable move-on accommodation and a job.”