On Friday the 5th of November staff members at St Michael’s House, Evie Johnson, and Stacey Miller accompanied residents Jayne and Laura to the Youth Matters Awards. The event was hosted at the exclusive Sheraton Grand Hotel in London's Park Lane.

YMCA Youth Matters Awards is YMCA England & Wales’ annual awards event, which celebrates the achievements of young people, staff, and volunteers.

Cheltenham YMCA St Michael’s House was nominated for the accommodation project of the year award.

St Michael’s House is our 16-bed supported accommodation project based in the city centre of Gloucester; where the goal is to prepare residents to move onto independent living, breaking the cycle of homelessness. Since opening in 2015, St Michael’s House has endeavoured to build a community that celebrates diversity, empowering individuals to become the best versions of themselves.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win the award, which went instead to One YMCA. However, a great time was had by all, as can be seen from the photos.

 

“The night was interesting, to see how people have supported each other. It was overwhelming.  I had a good night. I enjoyed the weekend including the travel there and back even the hotel was good. I was really honoured to be chosen to go to the awards. Even though we didn’t win the award; it was lovely to be nominated, and we all had a great night” – Jayne

“I was so happy to be asked to go to London. It was the first time I have ever been. I was disappointed that we didn’t win, as I thought that we would. I think we should apply again! It was a really good experience. It was great to learn about what work all the other YMCA’s do – Laura

 

Becoming a finalist in the Youth Matters Awards is a great testament to the hard work and care put into rebuilding lives, by the residents and staff at St Michael's House.

Jayne came to us in March 2020. During the last 6 months, Jayne has worked incredibly hard to regain control of her life. Jayne has taken her journey here very seriously and is using the time here to really change her life. Jayne is a great resident to have around, taking time to peer support some of the younger residents.

Laura has been with us since April 2021. Since moving in with us she has shown a strong commitment to rebuilding her life. Laura has demonstrated strength, resilience, and faith and despite the challenges she has faced, she continues to thrive.

We hope that you both continue to build on your achievements. We are very proud to have such amazing residents and staff WELL DONE!