December 5, 2017

YMCA Birmingham is pleased to announce the twenty-fifth anniversary of the official opening of Will Steel House, one of YMCA Birmingham’s supported accommodation projects.

The housing development first launched in Aston in 1992 providing 30 homes and has since helped over 2,000 people in and around Birmingham.

A celebration event, which will be held Friday, 1st December 2017 will see staff members past and present talk about the amazing work of Will Steel House and show the impact that the housing scheme is having on its Birmingham residents today.

Housing Service Director, Hyacinth Blackburn spoke of the anniversary: “The 25th anniversary is a great occasion to not only reflect on the fantastic work being delivered to help people in our city who need housing but also to celebrate the life of the late Will Steel, who was the Chief Executive of YMCA Birmingham and who’s passion, drive and commitment was crucial in bringing the vision for Will Steel House to fruition.

“We are also using this occasion to announce exciting some news that YMCA has bought Will Steel House from Midland Heart in a deal worth over one millions pounds!”
Congratulating Will Steel House on reaching this milestone, Vice Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands, Dr Beverly Lindsay OBE, will be Guest of Honour at the celebrations. Beverly is a celebrated mentor, champion and supporter of the African Caribbean community not only in Birmingham but throughout the UK and internationally. Her success in business, aligned with her longstanding support for the local community, has resulted in her receiving many awards in appreciation of her outstanding work. YMCA’s resident rep, Gabriel Aoimevbore who recently won the ‘Young Leader of the Year’ award will also be on hand too to showcase YMCA’s wider work.

Located in Aston, Will Steel House has been an example of successful partnership working between Midland Heart, YMCA Birmingham, Birmingham City Council and the Homes and Communities Agency, whose generous grant allocation allowed the scheme to be built.

“We want to celebrate these partnerships and the huge positive impact that it has had on so many lives” Hyacinth continued.

The light and modern building is made up of bed-sitting rooms with an integrated kitchenette, ideal for those who have some independent living skills. There are also shared bathrooms and toilets and a communal laundry room.

“At YMCA Birmingham we like to promote a healthy community atmosphere. We have a communal lounge with a large screen TV, computers are available on site for training and general access and there is a pool table in our games room where we hold regular tournaments for those who wish to participate.

“Applicants who come to us either directly or through referral from other agencies such as, Homeless services and the Salvation Army, are supported into education, employment, volunteering and training. We work with agencies to support resident wellbeing and nurture their mental health.” Hyacinth added.

The Housing Team is also based on-site, and there are staff available 24 hours per day and two of the rooms are adapted for disabled access.

For more information on the scheme or for any media interviews, please contact: helen@bigcatagency.com or on 0121 200 0910.

Notes to editors
– YMCA Birmingham is a registered charity and housing association that offers a variety of services including; supported accommodation, ‘move on’ flats for those wanting more independence, childcare, employability training, and professional CIH courses.