In this section we talk about:
- Who we are
- Your licence agreement
- Our House Rules
- Boundaries between staff, volunteers and residents
- Safeguarding and protection from abuse
- Laundry facilities
- TV Licence
- Moving into a place of your own
Who we are
YMCA Reading is a Homes and Communities Agency Registered Provider of safe, supported accommodation for young people aged 16-25. We are committed to helping young people in need, no matter what their race, sex, disability, sexuality or religion. Our housing scheme provides safe, secure and affordable accommodation for young people. Our aim is to help residents get the skills they need to live independently.
Our Vision and Values are important to us and they guide all of us in our dealings with you.
YMCA Reading housing
We own the home you have moved into. This means that we are your landlord and the agreement you have signed for your home is between you and us.
Your licence agreement
Your contract to live at YMCA Reading will be known as a licence agreement. This is the legal contract you sign that gives you the right to live in your home at the YMCA. It tells you your rights and responsibilities. It also tells you what we have to do as your landlord.
As a resident, you have the right:
- to enjoy your home in peace;
- to have repairs done;
- not to be annoyed, upset or frightened by anyone else in your home; and
- to complain if you are not happy with your home.
As a resident, you also have a responsibility:
- to pay your rent;
- not to be violent or aggressive to other people because of their race, age, disability, sex or for any other reason;
- not to cause a nuisance to anyone else in your home, any visitors, support staff or your neighbours;
- not to play music or your TV so loudly that it disturbs other people, including your neighbours; and
- not to cause damage to the furniture and fittings in your home.
The licence agreement also tells you what our responsibilities are as your landlord.
We have ‘house rules’ that we have developed to make sure that living at the YMCA is as positive and enjoyable an experience as possible. The following list details our house rules:
- Residents must ensure that visitors, a maximum of 2 at a time, are signed-in the Visitors Book kept at reception and signed-out again when they leave. We have the right to refuse entry to anyone we believe may cause a nuisance. All visitors must leave before 9pm. Overnight guests are not allowed.
- Residents are not permitted to store or use petrol, paraffin or any other inflammable liquid or materials, or vehicle parts in the building
- Residents are responsible for cleaning their rooms, bathrooms and kitchens. Rubbish is to be taken at least weekly to the bins in the car park.
- No fixings to be made in any of the walls or furniture, internally or externally
- Smoking is only permitted in your room or outside of the building in the designated area.
- Alcohol is not to be kept or consumed on the premises.
- Illegal drugs are not to be kept or used on the premises. This can lead to eviction and a report to the police.
- Bicycles may be left in the bike-shed at the owners’ risk, but must not be brought into the building.
- No items of personal furniture are allowed to be brought into the building without prior consent.
- Gambling is not permitted anywhere in the building.
- No pets are allowed, except for guide dogs, into the building.
- Residents must not enter communal areas in a state of undress likely to cause offence to other residents, visitors or staff.
- Items left, without prior arrangement, at the end of your stay will be disposed of at the staffs’ discretion.
- Never let anyone you do not know into the building.
Boundaries between staff, volunteers and residents
Our staff and volunteers are required to maintain a professional boundary between you and them at all times.
Why do we need boundaries?
Working with young people can be very difficult and sometimes it is hard for staff and volunteers to build working relationships with them without becoming their ‘friend’.
With clearly defined boundaries, the young person and the staff member understand where they stand.
The following lists some of the ways in which this boundary should be maintained:
- Staff are not permitted to allow friendships or intimate relationships to develop with you
- Staff are not permitted to invite you to their home
- Staff are expected not to socialise with you outside of work hours i.e. have a drink with you in a pub
- Staff are not permitted to consume alcohol or illegal substances with you at any time
- Staff are not permitted to give you cigarettes or tabacco and at all times to abide by current no-smoking legislation and YMCA Reading’s No-smoking Policy
- Staff are not permitted to lend you money
- Staff are not permitted to borrow money off you
- Staff are not permitted to pay you to run errands for them (e.g. go to the shop)
- Staff are expected to be role models to you, this means not swearing in front of you and behaving in a professional manner when working with you
- Staff are expected to abide with our confidentiality policies at all times, and not to undermine other staff members in front of you
- Staff are not permitted to buy goods from you at any time
- Staff are not permitted to sell goods to you, apart from items sold from the Parkside Café in the course of their duties
Safeguarding and protection from abuse
We take your protection very seriously. We have a Safeguarding Policy that explains our procedures for keeping you safe from abuse – you can view this at any time by contacting Reception or your Case Practitioner.
If you have any concerns regarding your safety, or the safety of someone else, you can speak to any member of staff, in complete confidence, at any time.
Alternatively, you can contact Reading Borough Council’s Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub.
All post is delivered to the office where it is sorted. You can collect your mail from reception at the times specified.
There are laundry facilities that you can access using your door key card between the hours of 9am and 9pm. To operate the machines, tokens can be purchased at reception. Please contact reception for further details.
You must buy your own TV Licence if you have your own TV in your room.
Moving into a place of your own
Becoming a YMCA resident and having a place of your own for the first time involves major changes. It is often a very exciting period and will solve problems that you may have had because you were homeless or in temporary accommodation.
But, you may find the move stressful at times, or you may feel that you are all alone. These experiences are very common when people are moving home and you will get over them. It is quite common to miss what you have been used to when you make such a major change.
Don’t suffer in silence! We understand how you are feeling and we are happy to listen and, if appropriate, offer you advice. That’s part of why we are here.
It can be very rewarding and enjoyable moving into a place of your own and making it feel like home. It gives you the chance for a new beginning and the peace of mind that comes with being able to shut your own front door.