Supporting residents, the Community Activities Team (CATeam) is based at both YMCA Wimbledon and YMCA Surbiton. We aim to equip residents with the tools required for independent living and wellbeing as part of their pathway during their stay. The programmes for supporting residents are holistic in their approach. They include activities such as arts, sports and workshops.
Also on offer are one to one sessions exploring personal development, life skills, functional skills and employment skills. We run regular consultations, a volunteer programme and sessions to explore spirituality and wellbeing.
Many of our residents face barriers with formal education and group work. Therefore it’s important that we explore many creative ways to engage with supporting residents them on their journey.
Supporting residents over the past year
The creative writing groups across our sites have been growing from strength to strength and some of the groups’ work was performed at the YMCA’s Benchmark Theatre’s New Writing Festival. Benchmark was excited to also perform their play ‘Poverty Pawn’ at the Camden Fringe.
Our first Sports Day for residents took place in the summer at YMCA Hawker in Kingston. We also had football matches, including one with our residents at YMCA Walthamstow in East London (we won’t mention the score!).
We started running First Aid courses for residents, and we have been supporting residents to complete a whole host of online courses. All of these course have proven popular and help add to the residents learning and CVs.
Residents are now teaching each other to cook with cooking clubs at YMCA Wimbledon and at YMCA Surbiton in the new communal kitchens. This hasn’t been plain sailing! Some residents have never cooked for themselves, or haven’t had the ability to do so. This is because they were homeless or have been living in less than ideal home situations – but we’re getting there.
Chaplaincy continues to work with residents with sessions such as Snack and Chat, Life Journey, Retreats and Choir. These have been hugely important for residents development and journey.
As always, we feel privileged to do the work we do, with the people we serve.