Tuesday, 12 December 2017

YMCA appeal reaches £140k

MORE than £140,000 has been raised already for an appeal to buy housing for young people in Henley.

MORE than £140,000 has been raised already for an appeal to buy housing for young people in Henley.

The YMCA wants to purchase the lease on the accommodation at its Lawson Road complex, which houses 31 young people.

The move comes after YMCA England announced that it is exiting housing and is selling the property it owns.

The Henley branch owns the land in Lawson Road but not the 21 studio flats and 10 one-bedroom flats, which have been valued at £566,500.



Last week the Henley Standard reported that it was appealing to the community to help raise £300,000 of the total with the rest hopefully coming from loans and grants. It has until the end of March 2017 to buy the lease.

Deputy Mayor of Henley Julian Brookes, who is also a trustee, said that £143,250 had been raised so far and said: “We’re into six figures now so I’m cautiously confident. I didn’t expect it nearly so quickly.”

The money, he said, had come from trusts and benefactors. He will also ask the town council for support at the next finance strategy and management committee meeting on October 27.

He said that about £50,000 would come from the charity’s reserves and it would ask for a £170,000 loan from South Oxfordshire District Council and £50,000 from Henley Town Council.

The Henley YMCA branch was founded in 1857 and has been based at its current home for 15 years. It provides accommodation for 16- to 25-year-olds with nowhere else to go and there has not been an empty property at Lawson Road for more than seven years.

As well as housing, the charity provides its residents with education support, such as money management courses, help with CVs and job hunting, and works with organisations such as Henley youth and community project Nomad.

If you wish to send a cheque, please make it payable to YMCA Henley and bring it to the office or post it to: YMCA Henley, Templeton House, 2 Lawson Road, Henley, RG9 1NZ.

To help raise funds or register for gift aid, contact Angela Healey on (01491) 411849 or email angela. henleyymca@btconnect.com 



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