Photos by YMCA residents to be exhibited in MK Gallery


Photographs taken by young people illustrating how they feel about a newly built YMCA forms an exhibition that is part of ongoing research by the University of Northampton (UON).

Photovoice – which opens at the MK Gallery on 7 June and will run for the rest of the month – will showcase photographs taken by young people who live at YMCA Milton Keynes.

Their photos explore the challenges they faced before coming to the YMCA, their feelings about the campus and the impact of the support they receive. The photos will be accompanied by recorded conversations, telling their stories, including origami making and how one woman uses boxing to build her confidence and manage feelings of anger.

The exhibition will be held at the MK Gallery’s Project Space and is free to attend. Opening hours are Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 5pm. There will be an official opening ceremony on 11th
June at 3pm-5pm where members of the public can meet come and ask questions about the project to YMCA and UON staff.

After moving into their new building in March 2020, YMCA Milton Keynes are creating a new approach and service to better support a growing number of young people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in the city

The research will illustrate findings from an evaluation assessing the social impact of YMCA Milton Keynes’ new service and its short and long-term outcomes on young people aged 18-35 years. The researchers hope the project and exhibition will stimulate discussion and highlight the importance of practical, emotional and employment support for young people in Milton Keynes.

Tao Giroletti – Researcher in Social Innovation & Impact – is the project’s lead. She said: “I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this experience with the Photovoice participants, but we all came a long way. They thought me so much about their journeys and who they are, and how powerful working on ourselves can be.

“Being able to participate in this research is making me very proud of what I do, so I want to thank the participants, YMCA and the MK Gallery for making this possible.”

Simon Green, CEO of YMCA added: “We are really proud of our residents who have taken part in this project. This is a unique opportunity to share their experiences with the wider community in Milton Keynes.”

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For more information or interview requests, please contact Breda McCarthy via or call 07715 062 056.

Notes to Editors

YMCA Milton Keynes

  • YMCA Milton Keynes provides supported housing dedicated to young adults aged 18-35 in Milton Keynes.
  • Since 1981, we have supported more than 10,000 young people. We provide practical, emotional and employment support to help our residents belong, contribute and thrive.
  • Our state-of-the-art campus and move on accommodation provide homes for up to 242 young adults.
  • Our social enterprises – such as our café, HomeGround – offer work experience, training and employment opportunities for our residents and a revenue stream for us.
  • YMCA Milton Keynes is an independent charity and affiliates to YMCA England and Wales.
  • YMCAs operate in 700 different communities across England and Wales, impacting upon the lives of more than 570,000 people every year.