YMCA Hayes is a hostel in Hayes, West London

3 January 2019

Zahna, aged 19,  has been living at YMCA Hayes since April 2017, after being referred to the Hayes hostel from her local authority in Hackney, East London. Her relationship with her family had broken down and she had nowhere to live. In July 2018 Zahna had a baby and is living in family accommodation at the Hayes hostel. She was on an apprenticeship with a local building company but is now on maternity leave.

Life at the hostel in Hayes

She likes it at the hostel in Hayes, but it was an anxious move for Zahna as she didn’t know anyone in the local area. Marcia Richardson, YMCA Hayes Senior Housing Support Officer has been instrumental in getting Zahna settled and she attends a mother and baby group each week to get to know other young mums.

“I like living here now and have had a lot of help from Marcia,” says Zahna.

Zahna was a talented young sportswoman before she moved to Hayes, and she was a member of the youth Olympic table tennis squad – an experience she admits was unique. “ I was able to travel a lot with the squad all around Europe, it was great.”

Zahna is keen to return to work after her maternity leave ends, and Marcia is helping her to look at childcare options for her baby son Jayski. Zahna’s dream job would be to work on the railway as an engineer: “I love fixing things and working with my hands,” says Zahna.

Diagnosed with a personality disorder, life hasn’t been easy for this young mum who has been battling with this mental health condition. “Zahna’s baby was under a compulsory childcare protection plan when he was first born, but he has now been discharged which is fantastic,” says Marcia. “It shows how far Zahna has come, and how wonderfully she is looking after her baby.”

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