The Director writes “in January 2018 YMCA Bristol opened its new hostel, the Bristol Wing. The aim of the hostel is to provide a safe place for nine young people at any one time, but this is done in the context of a social enterprise backpackers hostel. This means that the beds for the homeless young people are funded from the commercial revenues, and that the young people who stay are not labelled or stigmatised by where they are living. Instead they are anonymous amongst a transient community of travellers, tourists, business people and families.
“YMCA Bristol approached Temple Ecclesiastical Charity to help fund a chaplain for the hostel. Being a Christian charity, it wanted to appoint a chaplain who could offer holistic support to the young people who stay in the hostel, as well as guests and staff, and also to lead the development and embedding of the Christian ethos of the organisation. With funding from the Charity, YMCA Bristol has now appointed two chaplains (to a job share), who are leading this work. Regular activities include games nights with young people in the hostel, a weekly community meal (the Feast), one-to-one meetings with young people, offering opportunities for prayer and reflection, and supporting young people with practical needs.