Service users at one of Liverpool’s longest running charity organisations YMCA Together are launching a new podcast in a bid to give hope to those who may be struggling.
‘Who’s On YMCA’ will feature stories from a number of individuals who are now on the road to recovery, having lived with homelessness or substance misuse. Special guests from local providers that offer support in the Liverpool City Region will also be on hand to offer insight and advice on help that is available in the city.
YMCA Together, which is in its 176th year, serves Liverpool and Sefton and provides 109,500 bed spaces annually.
Deputy Chief Executive of YMCA Together Jon Metcalfe said: “The idea for the podcast came from our service users as they wanted to talk about their experiences, and it will not only benefit those in recovery with YMCA Together but also inspire those who are trapped in addiction and give them hope for the future.
“It’s led by those at the forefront of our services and has allowed our service users to learn new skills such as hosting, interviewing, researching as well as understanding the technical side of podcasting, which is vital for their future development in terms of their recovery and careers.”
A range of topics will be discussed each week, from rough sleeping to drug culture and alcoholism, with the aim of tackling fake news and removing stereotypes that vulnerable people face right across the UK.
Service users Thomas Malone, Danny Oxley, Oleg Nesterovic, Graham Hampson and Jamie Evans will host the weekly podcast from the charity’s Florence House, having all walked the same path to recovery over the past few years.
Thomas Malone came to YMCA Together looking for support through their hostel and rehab services when battling addiction. He said: “When you’re in a dark place, it can feel like there’s no hope for you. But there is. By knowing about the right services for you, you can get through it; just like I did.
“We’ve been working on this podcast for the past four months and we want to inspire people who have been in similar situations to us and open their eyes to the opportunities that are right in front of them if they reach out to the amazing services that are on offer in our city.”
The podcast team has recently applied to pitch at the quarterly non for profit event Liverpool SOUP, in an attempt to secure micro-funding that would allow them to develop the series further and purchase video equipment to enhance the overall user experience.
Liverpool SOUP was set up to help the people of Liverpool who are going above and beyond to support their local communities.
Jason Thomas, Housing Operational Lead, added: “Funding from Liverpool SOUP would enable us to unlock the further potential of our service users and allow them to reach a wider audience and provide an arm of support for those who are struggling.”