Petition created for the future of city’s YMCA

Evesham Journal: UNCERTAIN: The spending on the YMCA, in Henwick Road in Worcester will be slashed. UNCERTAIN: The spending on the YMCA, in Henwick Road in Worcester will be slashed.

FEARS have been raised that a vital service offering shelter to hundreds of homeless people could become “unsustainable” because of looming council cuts.

A petition has been launched to fight for the future of Worcester YMCA as Worcestershire County Council considers cutting its funding for supporting homeless people by more than 50 per cent.

The petition has been created by a concerned user of the 85-bed YMCA, in Hen-wick Road, St John’s, who fears the proposed cuts could lead to people being left to fend for themselves on the street.

YMCA leaders have ruled out closure but admit they are hugely concerned.

Although supported accommodation and housing related support are not part of the council’s statutory responsibilities, it currently provides about £1.8 million funding every year.

But it is proposing reducing that to £911,000 under plans to cut £32 million from spending on adult and health services.

Worcestershire YMCA offers another 52 beds in Red-ditch and helps 400 homeless people every year.

Head of delivery, Geoff Taylor-Smith, said that level of service would be impossible if council funding of about £800,000 was cut.

“It is a threat and it is a threat particularly to people who are on the street,” he said.

“There will be more people on the streets at night and it will have implications for crime levels and A&E admissions.”

He believes the overall cost to society if support is withdrawn would be “considerably higher” than the funding the organisation currently receives.

Mr Taylor-Smith said: “It really is an unknown. We don’t know if we will be losing all of it, some of it or most of it. But come what may the YMCA in Worcester will not close completely. It is here to stay.”

However, he warned of the impact of funding cuts, which will be finalised in January, and welcomed the petition.

“If we were to lose 50 per cent then with that level of reduction we would have to look at staffing levels and we would have to come up with different models for supporting our residents,” he said.

“It is not just a case of a bed for the night, many of them have problems with alcohol or substance misuse. These are people with complex lives.

“It is good to know that our users are as passionate about keeping things going as we are.”

Councillor Marcus Hart, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said the council needs to “prioritise its investment” due to financial challenges.

“Part of our early proposals is to reduce the funding available to early help and support services, including supported accommodation and housing-related support for families and young people, which the council has historically commissioned,” he said.

“These are all services that are not part of our core responsibilities to service users and there is limited evidence that these services prevent people from requiring adult social care.”

He said the county council will talk with housing associations and district councils and work with them to reduce the impact of any reductions.

He urged anyone concerned to have their say – either online at worcestershire.gov.uk/futurelives or at public buildings across Worcestershire.

Comments (8)

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4:59pm Wed 4 Dec 13

green49 says...

WCC as i have said before have ALREADY MADE the discision to make over 40 people redundant from the supporting groups, the consultation has not even begun yet??? its a done deal and i smell a judicial review coming into the Councils handling of it all, IT STINKS and the people who will be redundant are some of the best and most experienced in this line of work, the private sector cannot hold a candle to them. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE whats going on and its all political, following the cuts from the Government and this mob towing the tory line.
WCC as i have said before have ALREADY MADE the discision to make over 40 people redundant from the supporting groups, the consultation has not even begun yet??? its a done deal and i smell a judicial review coming into the Councils handling of it all, IT STINKS and the people who will be redundant are some of the best and most experienced in this line of work, the private sector cannot hold a candle to them. IT IS AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE whats going on and its all political, following the cuts from the Government and this mob towing the tory line. green49

5:01pm Wed 4 Dec 13

green49 says...

GET INVOLVED BY COMPLAINING TO YOUR MP, COUNCILLOR, AND MAKE A NOISE AT WHAT IS GOING ON.

This is not what people voted for.
GET INVOLVED BY COMPLAINING TO YOUR MP, COUNCILLOR, AND MAKE A NOISE AT WHAT IS GOING ON. This is not what people voted for. green49

5:03pm Wed 4 Dec 13

green49 says...

FRONT LINE SERVICES AND COUNTYS CUTBACKS,

WHY WN CAN ANYONE NOT COMMENT ON THIS, IS IT BEING CENSORED AGAIN????????
FRONT LINE SERVICES AND COUNTYS CUTBACKS, WHY WN CAN ANYONE NOT COMMENT ON THIS, IS IT BEING CENSORED AGAIN???????? green49

7:03pm Wed 4 Dec 13

pudniw_gib says...

The latest cutbacks being considered includeservices to various vulneradle groups across the age spectrum. The thing is that it is the vulnerable and those unable to defend themselves thatget trodden on 1st..
The latest cutbacks being considered includeservices to various vulneradle groups across the age spectrum. The thing is that it is the vulnerable and those unable to defend themselves thatget trodden on 1st.. pudniw_gib

9:56pm Wed 4 Dec 13

PrivateSi says...

You can always cut yourself to try and get extra benefits for self-harming - it's an old state-sponsored homeless trick...
You can always cut yourself to try and get extra benefits for self-harming - it's an old state-sponsored homeless trick... PrivateSi

11:12pm Wed 4 Dec 13

utherpd says...

Private Si, have you ever been there? So low you are cutting yourself, yeah sometimes for attention but mostly a cry for help. Not every self harmer can receive help from places like the ym, they have to safe guard the existing residents safety.
The ym is an awesome wonderful amazing place and has been in the city for many many years. The work they do to help people goes above and beyond the call of duty, and myself as a former member of staff, loose sleep at night if they have no bed for someone in dire need.
If the city looses this valuable place, the knock on effects will be immense not only on the numbers of rough sleepers, but crime, a+e waiting times and suicide rates.
Loose the ym loose part of the cities heart.
Private Si, have you ever been there? So low you are cutting yourself, yeah sometimes for attention but mostly a cry for help. Not every self harmer can receive help from places like the ym, they have to safe guard the existing residents safety. The ym is an awesome wonderful amazing place and has been in the city for many many years. The work they do to help people goes above and beyond the call of duty, and myself as a former member of staff, loose sleep at night if they have no bed for someone in dire need. If the city looses this valuable place, the knock on effects will be immense not only on the numbers of rough sleepers, but crime, a+e waiting times and suicide rates. Loose the ym loose part of the cities heart. utherpd

7:12am Thu 5 Dec 13

green49 says...

utherpd;; Some people on here have NO idea what is going to happen? they make the most pathetic comments just to get a reaction, this support and all the other programmes that WILL be cut make no mistake as its a done deal due to the WCC putting out false information and also the consultation questionaires that is so loaded to get the out come the WCC wants its just not legal IMO.

If you fill in a consultaion paper twice and put different answers in then you get asked different questions but they all lead you to the same outcome the WCC wants, its corrupt, lies, misleading whatever you want to call it but its all at aimed at the vunerable in our society and its just evil what this government are doing and yet they say its a local desission, its because they just want the blame shifted to the local Councillors,

WHERE'S the back bone of the local councillors? they should be screaming from the roof tops to stop this all happening.
utherpd;; Some people on here have NO idea what is going to happen? they make the most pathetic comments just to get a reaction, this support and all the other programmes that WILL be cut make no mistake as its a done deal due to the WCC putting out false information and also the consultation questionaires that is so loaded to get the out come the WCC wants its just not legal IMO. If you fill in a consultaion paper twice and put different answers in then you get asked different questions but they all lead you to the same outcome the WCC wants, its corrupt, lies, misleading whatever you want to call it but its all at aimed at the vunerable in our society and its just evil what this government are doing and yet they say its a local desission, its because they just want the blame shifted to the local Councillors, WHERE'S the back bone of the local councillors? they should be screaming from the roof tops to stop this all happening. green49

10:25pm Sun 8 Dec 13

Dr Martin says...

PrivateSi wrote:
You can always cut yourself to try and get extra benefits for self-harming - it's an old state-sponsored homeless trick...
unfortunately it works very well, quite a lot of them are at it
[quote][p][bold]PrivateSi[/bold] wrote: You can always cut yourself to try and get extra benefits for self-harming - it's an old state-sponsored homeless trick...[/p][/quote]unfortunately it works very well, quite a lot of them are at it Dr Martin

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