21 April 2022



YMCA Heart of England operating within Birmingham/Coventry & Warwickshire has received £49,360 from Nationwide Building Society to help fund a 2-year plan to engage 70 young people with complex needs in their volunteering and training programme.

This is part of Nationwide Building Society’s Community Grants programme which brings its members and colleagues together to help tackle the housing crisis. Giving hope for the future to those who need it most by assessing and awarding funding to local housing charities and projects. To date, Nationwide Building Society has awarded £17.7 million to 444 housing projects and charities which range from preventing people from losing their homes, helping people into a home, or supporting people to thrive within their homes.


YMCA has been working in Birmingham/Coventry & Warwickshire for over 173 years. It provides supported accommodation to people who have been homeless, affordable childcare to give children the best start in life and community facilities for hire to name just a few things. With Nationwide’s support, YMCA can directly improve young people’s ability to live independently and move towards employment. These young people will be supported on their journey with individually designed wraparound support according to their needs whilst also taking up volunteering opportunities in their associated social enterprise, this may include catering, childcare, customer services or administration.

The project will run five times for 8 weeks throughout the year with 35 people going through each year. The project design includes 9 hours of volunteering per week alongside support and additional training. An essential part of the placement is the provision of Mental Health First Aid training alongside the more typical employability skills.


Pauline Tomlinson Chief Executive, said: “This is fantastic, a massive thank you to Nationwide, we are so pleased to have been awarded this funding and even more pleased that we will be able to support young people and families in positive destinations – whether this is in employment, training, volunteering or with interventions that help with mental health. It has been an incredibly difficult time for many charities, and we have certainly felt the impact of the pandemic on our service users as well as us as a charity overall.

Every penny makes such a difference to the people and communities that we serve. With these funds, we will have a direct impact on at least 70 young people and an indirect impact on many more. Nationwide has also agreed to help us with supporting some of our residents who are currently caught in the cycle of not being able to have a bank account because of their homeless status but by working together we want to ensure that this facility is available regardless of being homeless. Thank you so much Nationwide…”


Simon, Senior Branch Manager at Nationwide Building Society, comments: “Helping local communities is at the heart of what it means to be a building society for Nationwide. Thanks to our community grants programme, we are so thrilled to be able to award the £49,360 grant to the YMCA knowing this will make such a difference to the wonderful charity and make such a positive difference to so many individuals in our local community. Local charities have been hit by the pandemic and anything we can do to support and help them continue their valuable work with local communities is so important.”