12 May 2021

Back in 2018, Wesley was living at home with his dad and his dad’s partner until their landlord increased the rent and they were forced to move to a smaller one-bedroom property. This meant that there was no room for Wesley.

Homeless and with nowhere to go, Wesley had no choice but to sleep in a friend’s car whilst he looked for somewhere to stay.  His mum had heard of YMCA and advised him to apply for accommodation, and after a month sleeping rough, Wesley finally found a place to call home.

Wesley initially found it difficult to settle into a new environment surrounded by strangers, but with the help of support workers soon began to find his feet. He enjoyed using the gym, and feeling better both physically and mentally, soon realised a passion for helping others. It wasn’t long before Wesley became a familiar face in the gym as a volunteer, initially supporting with cleaning schedules throughout the pandemic and then health rehab classes & gym inductions.

Wesley’s experience has helped him to realise his own potential. He is now living independently and aiming to complete a level 3 Personal Trainer qualification in the near future.  When asked how he feels now compared to when he first moved in, Wesley says that he has no issues approaching people now and is popular with our members.

He remains a valued member of the team and is proactively involved in a range of fitness programmes and supports our 50plus social club and children’s birthday parties. On summing up his experience at the YMCA, Wesley said “the YMCA didn’t only change my life; this place saved my life too”.