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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

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YMCA’s refurb set to begin

WORK on a £2.8million scheme to transform a prominent Whitehaven building is set to begin at the end of April.

By Andrew Clarke

The YMCA, a Grade II listed building on Irish Street, is to be redeveloped into the Whitehaven Foyer, a centre providing 17 flats, job training and support for those in need, aged 17 to 23.

The main building will be refurbished while the rear sports hall will be demolished to make way for a three-storey accommodation block.

Work is expected to take 12 months to complete, and the team behind the scheme – Impact Housing Association and the Howgill Family Centre – says that no further road disruption is expected as access to the site will be from behind the YMCA.

There are two existing – and successful – foyers in Cumbria, based in Penrith and Kendal, and Impact’s Hayley McKay said that West Cumbria has long been in need of such a scheme.

She added: “The foyer will be a huge asset for young people, and for the whole community.”

Foyers are designed to provide young people with a springboard to independent living, training and work.

The flats will be occupied by youngsters including those previously homeless (or at risk of becoming so), and vulnerable, lacking in life skills who have left school with few qualifications. Two flats are designated for young people with babies.

In exchange for the services offered, the occupants have to sign a contract which requires them to actively engage in education, employment and training where they address their own development and make a positive contribution to their community.

They are then helped to progress to alternative accommodation, with the average stay of around 12 months.

It is expected that Whitehaven Foyer will accommodate 200 young people in its first 10 years.

Have your say

First of all, this sounds like a fantastic scheme. Properly run, it will be a huge boost to young people in the area. Darren's comment, sadly, seems to be tarring all youngsters with the same old stereotypical brush. The number of 'good' young people who don't cause trouble far outweighs the few 'scallys' who get all the publicity

Posted by Optimistic Pedant on 11 April 2014 at 13:02

In responce to darth vader, Where's the criticism of the council on my comment,is it not stating a fact that they do have a black hole to fill,you say 50% will be the cost of the building stage,in my book that leaves 1.4 million left,(wheres that going then),don't say training etc because that come out of another budget so back to my initial question what is the money being spent on ?,I have also noticed their is an increase of derogitory comments increasing on these type of stories aimed at peoples educational, writing,or job abilities,particularly if criticism is aimed at "the council,"Jamie Reed" ,or sellafield", is this some sort of political policy going around that you try to make people look like idiots that dare to criticise our towns authorities, i am a former purchasing and procurement officer,i am qualified in 19 different job roles and earn over £40,000 per year please tell me darth how educated do you want people to be.

Posted by James O on 6 April 2014 at 16:26

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