Brighton YMCA joins forces with London charity in the fight against homelessness during the London to Brighton Cycle Ride

The largest supported housing provider in Brighton, Brighton YMCA, has teamed up with remarkable Caritas Anchor House from London, for Skyline’s 10th year anniversary London to Brighton Bike Ride.

The sports challenge, which is 55 miles long and includes astounding countryside views, is taking place on the 15th of September 2019 and promises to be a fun, exciting and community-building experience. The partnership between the two charities means that you can now support the ever-so-important cause of ending homelessness whether you live in Brighton or London.

Joining forces for the Bike Ride was a natural decision, as the two charities fight for the same cause: ending homelessness and transforming their clients’ lives.

Funds raised by Brighton YMCA supporters during the London to Brighton Bike Ride will go towards supporting the charity’s many wrap-around services, such as their self-funded, bespoke to homeless people, in-house Counselling service.

A quarter of adults experience mental health issues in their lifetime; unfortunately, amongst Brighton’s homeless this rises to 85%.

After a staggering 82% of clients housed at Brighton YMCA identified their primary support need was mental health, the organisation decided to do something about it. The In-House Counselling service provides a bespoke counselling service, aimed specifically at homeless people.

The service is designed to be flexible and creative in supporting people, who may find themselves in very challenging situations, to engage with and continue counselling. Statistics since the service was inaugurated, in 2015, show that 67% of all Brighton YMCA clients who completed an assessment maintained and engaged in counselling throughout the year.

Noeleen Connolly, Fundraising Manager at Brighton YMCA, said: ‘We house in excess of 300 people across the communities of Brighton & Hove.

Our outstanding services provide the best opportunities for clients to reach their full potential, rebuild their lives and turn their dreams into reality. Brighton YMCA is not just housing. We consistently create innovative and personalised initiatives, to best suit our clients. Among our flagship services, the Counselling Service shines.’

Brighton YMCA’s participation in the London to Brighton Bike Ride was made possible by their joining forces with Caritas Anchor House, a vital homeless charity in the heart of East London.

Caritas Anchor House operates in a tough climate. They are based in the London Borough of Newham where a staggering 1 in 24 people are homeless, the highest proportion in the country.

Their 140 rooms thus make them a major lifeline in the London Borough as the main service provider for single homeless adults. Each year they proudly provide both a home and hope to over 200 people. This includes the most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness with complex issues such as substance misuse, mental health needs, and histories of offending or domestic abuse.

Like Brighton YMCA, Caritas Anchor House is more than a roof over the heads of those they support, they are driven by their mission to give homeless people the chance at leading independent, fulfilling lives, full of confidence and aspirations. This is particularly achieved through their award winning Aspirations Programme – a holistic, person-centred support model which focuses on each person’s inherent strengths, interests and goals, and deploys these to aid progress and empowerment and provided by a staff team who each specialise on one element of the client’s journey.

Amanda Dubarry, Chief Executive at Caritas Anchor House, said “We’re really pleased to join with such a like-minded charity as Brighton YMCA to get involved in the London Brighton Cycle Ride.”

“Working in homelessness hotspots like we do is no easy feat, but by taking part in events like these we are helping spread the message about what we do and why we do it, as well as bringing in valuable income to help support our life-changing work.”

Though Caritas Anchor House and YMCA Brighton may be separated by the full 55 mile cycling course, both charities hold the same values at the core of their work. Homelessness is a national crisis, and together we hope to build a team of avid cyclists and fundraisers for a valuable cause.