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Gez Nicholson

From homeless to whole again

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Next March I’ll be celebrating my 50th birthday and as I approach my fiftieth year, I feel extremely fortunate. I have a worthwhile job that I love, a wonderful family and a house to call my own. But this wasn’t always the case. And [b]if it wasn’t for the YMCA, I would not be here today. [/b][/p][p]That’s why on 5th December 2018, I’m attempting to walk 50 miles from Nottingham to Sutton Coldfield to raise money for the YMCA in Sutton Coldfield. And that’s just for starters. Over the next 6 months, I’ll be undertaking lots of fundraising challenges in an attempt to raise a total of £5k for the YMCA.[/p][p]Here’s my story:[/p][p][b]30 years ago, I lost my job and my Father threw me out of the family home. Feeling abandoned, depressed, “switched off”, and with nowhere to go, I moved into my local YMCA in Lincoln.[/b][/p][p]A few months into my residency, the Housing Support Manager at the YMCA came to see me and I can honestly say that he changed my life. Sometimes, all you need is an intervention; someone to fight your corner and support you. Archie was my intervention. [b]He believed that I could make something of myself.[/b] But he told it to me straight. He said “if you want something from life, you need to get up and work for it”. He helped me to get a job volunteering in a charity shop and encouraged me to apply for the Prince’s Trust volunteering course. After several years of volunteering, I was successful in getting a paid position as Assistant Manager. [/p][p]I felt part of something at the YMCA but I wanted to do more, so I moved to a bigger YMCA in Nottingham as a volunteer. It was here that I met Clive Yates, the Housing Manager. [b]Clive was always there for me and he became a mentor and a friend, supporting and encouraging me to do what was right.[/b][/p][p]Clive left YMCA Nottingham in 2002 and I felt like I’d lost a close friend. A few months later, when he called me up and asked if I wanted to come and work for him, I jumped at the chance. I immediately liked the quietness and calmness of the Sutton suburbs; I stayed for a couple of days and it immediately felt like home.[/p][p]So in June 2002, I finally moved to Sutton Coldfield, staying and working as a volunteer. In 2006, I met my wife and we married in 2009. I was successful in securing a full time job as caretaker of the YMCA Sutton Coldfield and after 20 years of living at a YMCA, I finally moved out and bought my first house. I’m now happily married with a family and my own home.[/p][p]If it wasn’t for Archie and the YMCA, I wouldn’t be here today. And if I hadn’t met Clive, I wouldn’t have found my place and settled down. After all these years, Archie and I are still best of friends. And I’m still working for Clive. I think even when I retire, I’ll come and volunteer (if they’ll have me!)[/p][p][b]I’m so very grateful to the YMCA for giving me my life back. So now I want to give back to the YMCA.[/b][/p][p][i]Please sponsor me for my first challenge of walking 50 miles from Nottingham to Sutton Coldfield on the 5th December and help the YMCA to prevent more young people from becoming homeless.[/i][/p]
From homeless to whole again image 1

Share Gez's story


Personal Challenge Date

05 Dec 2018


Dec 14, 2018


Well done Gez!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Dec 13, 2018

Colin Briley

Well done on the walk Gez and good luck with your other fundraising activities

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Dec 11, 2018


£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Dec 11, 2018

Will Wakefield

Best wishes from Will Wakefield and all at Nottinghamshire YMCA.


Dec 7, 2018

Liz and Darren

Well done gerald!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Dec 6, 2018

Eric Rooker 1st SC Scouts

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Dec 5, 2018

Mrs. P

Good luck sweetie you can do it. Bless you.


Dec 3, 2018


£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Dec 1, 2018


Good Luck Gez xx

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Dec 1, 2018


£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid