Adele is 18 years old. She enjoys working with children and regularly volunteers at a local charity shop. As well as studying for A levels, Adele works for YMCA Romford part time as a birthday party host.
Jay is 18 and lives in an Inner London estate renowned for anti-social behaviour. As well as facing all of the pressures of a teenager, Jay is a young carer and has been caring for his mum for as long as he can remember. His mum has Lupus, a serious condition where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. Jay’s father struggles with addiction and hasn’t been a constant in his life.
Every week we provide specialist rehabilitation classes for people who are recovering from strokes, cancer and other life-limiting conditions.
Leslie is a familiar face at our Romford site and uses the gym, seated rehab classes and plays Boccia. Les aged 63, had a stroke three years ago which left him with very little movement in his right side and very little speech. Prior to the stroke Les worked full time in a manual job and was very fit and active.
Claire is 44 years old and has two children, aged 13 and 10. She is a full time mum. In February 2016, Claire was diagnosed with breast cancer. The following April she had a single mastectomy and following that, radiotherapy.
Prior to this diagnosis, Claire was struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome and had to take anti-depressants to help overcome the effects of low energy and self-esteem. This put a lot of extra pressure on her fiancé who worked very long hours and whose health also began to suffer.
On a holiday to South Africa in 2007, Claire visited a women’s shelter that helped women and children that had suffered abuse. Sadly the facility was in a poor state with rubbish stacked up everywhere.
Romario is a young person currently being supported by YMCA Thames Gateway who relies on Housing Benefit to pay for much of his rent. He says Housing Benefit has given him the springboard he needed to find work.