Horsham YMCA project ignites young man’s desire to help others

A man who was once homeless and on drugs and alcohol is raising money to help people turn in Borneo their lives around.

Dylan Hudson with YMCA Downslink community & volunteer engagement manager Tracey Wilkes, Mid Sussex co-ordinator Kensa Cooper and new Mid Sussex mentor Gill Pawley - picture copyright Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes [email protected]

Dylan Hudson, 20, is one person who has successfully come through the Downslink YMCA positive placements scheme while living in Horsham’s Y-Centre.

He said: “I was homeless and I went through a bit of time with drug and alcohol misuse and got kicked out of my mother’s.

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“I heard about the Y-Centre, so I went to the council and they helped me out getting the emergency room and then I managed to get into a shared flat in here.

“My mentor works closely with the job centre to find employment and education. At the moment I’m going to Borneo for ten weeks doing charity work.

“I need to fundraise to be able to go on this expedition.

“I’ll be helping make a sustainable future for vulnerable people. It’s not nice knowing people are going through things I went through, but knowing it’s 100 times worse for them.

“It’s completely different place there to over here. Things are going to be a lot more brutal than for people in my position in a place like this (the Y-Centre).”

Positive placements were part of a Downslink YMCA project trialled in Horsham and they have been such a success, they are being replicated in Mid Sussex.

Through the work, 23 young people aged 16 to 25 have been helped to move on with their lives.

Community and volunteer engagement manager Tracey Wilkes said: “We build up links to work in partnership with businesses and charities to offer opportunities to get into education, employment or training, but also to build the essential life skills needed to succeed.”

Dylan said: “With the mental health, alcohol and drug misuse, I do suffer quite a lot with anxiety. My mentor has helped me overcome those problems. He’s a good role model.”

To sponsor Dylan for the Raleigh International trip go to www.justgiving.com/dylan-hudson