YMCA, a national charity committed to supporting young people in their time of need, is thrilled to announce a ground-breaking new partnership with Cadent, the UK’s largest gas distribution network. Cadent is investing £300,000 to both fund the new ‘Safe and Well Communities’ project and provide experts to train the YMCA team.
As part of its commitment to tackling fuel poverty and supporting the most vulnerable in the West Midlands, the gas networks ‘Safe and Well Communities Project’ aims to enhance YMCA’s existing support for young people and families. The initiative will see Cadent training YMCA Housing Workers that support young people at YMCA Black Country Group, YMCA Heart of England and YMCA Wellington and District and YMCA Worcestershire; to provide practical advice on energy efficiency, financial management, and safety during the transition from YMCA-supported housing to independent living.
Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said: "We are incredibly excited about this partnership with Cadent. By combining our expertise and resources, we have a unique opportunity to make a profound difference in the lives of those affected by the insecurity of relentlessly rising prices.
“Young people are facing a significantly challenging financial landscape as they struggle through the cost-of-living crisis. With outgoings outpacing income, many are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve financial stability and plan for their future. Together with Cadent, we can empower individuals and build stronger, healthier communities."
Philip Burrows, Head of Customer Vulnerability Social Programme Delivery at Cadent, added: “As a brand, YMCA remains one of the most trusted and iconic in the country, particularly within the younger demographic. Therefore, this new partnership will be an important part of our strategy in targeting important energy and financial awareness support where it is needed the most.
“Sadly, no one has escaped the impact of the past few years, but when it comes to people in vulnerable situations, they have been the ones to take the brunt – so any additional help must be carefully targeted and delivered to ensure it will have the maximum impact.” Fuel poverty remains a persistent issue affecting millions of people across the UK, particularly those on low incomes.
Through this unique collaboration, YMCA and Cadent will work hand in hand to address this challenge head-on, making a meaningful impact on the lives of those most affected. In addition, YMCA will conduct slow cooking workshops for more than 5,000 young people using slow cookers provided by Cadent. This initiative promotes healthy eating on a budget and will occur in youth centres and housing facilities – YMCA is the largest provider of supported housing, with more than 9,000 beds offered each night.