SOMERSET: YMCA takes over Glastonbury B&B
A bed-and-breakfast on the Somerset Levels could be taken over by the YMCA to provide much-needed accommodation for vulnerable young people.
The YMCA Brunel Group provides housing and support services for young people in Bath, Bristol, the Mendip and South Somerset districts.
The charity has applied to convert 1 Park Terrace in Glastonbury into a “supported accommodation” facility, completed with staff offices and meeting rooms.
Mendip District Council is expected to make a decision on the proposals before the end of the year.
The bed-and-breakfast lies on the A361 Street Road near the town centre, a short distance from the town’s Morrisons supermarket and the Tor Leisure Centre – which is being revamped as part of the Glastonbury town deal.
Under the proposals, the number of bedrooms will be reduced from eight to six, with the equivalent of five full-time staff being based on-site.
Unlike the conversion of the Gascony Hotel in Minehead (which was recently completed by the YMCA Dulverton Group), no significant internal alterations are planned for the Glastonbury site.
A spokesman for YMCA Brunel said the Park Terrace site would focus on providing accommodation for 16- and 17-year-olds, being run as a “non-regulated children’s home”.
The spokesman said: “The need for this type of accommodation is high and the current P2i+ at Hillside House in Yeovil has been a very successful project, in terms of delivering the service and in the fantastic outcomes for young people.
“The layout of this property lends itself extremely well for the purposes of supported accommodation, with the top three floors providing a large lounge, kitchen, five bedrooms and four bathrooms.
“The lower ground floor is accessed through a large car park and contains what could be a large office area or lounge and two smaller rooms – one sleep-in room for staff and one one-to-one support or therapeutic space.
“The location of the property is ideal for such a project with its town centre location, proximity to amenities, services and education and employment opportunities.”
The charity has promised that the property will be tightly managed to prevent noise and antisocial behaviour which could affect neighbouring residents.
The spokesman added: “We recognise that a quality and homely environment raises aspirations and also raises the ownership of the home by young people.
“This project would provide a high-quality and welcoming space that we would encourage to be personalised by the young person to make them feel more at home.
“We work with the individual to provide them with activities and experiences that will make them enjoy their time and try different activities to boost confidence and self-esteem.”
The facility would be run in partnership with Somerset County Council, with young people having to meet strict criteria to be housed there – though the YMCA would have the final decision on each placement.
The district council is expected to make a decision on the plans in the run-up to Christmas.
Words: Daniel Mumby, Local Democracy Reporter
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