Aston Cllr Muhammad Afzal-West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino-Alan Fraser CEO YMCA Birmingham

Aston Cllr Muhammad Afzal-West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino-Alan Fraser CEO YMCA Birmingham

You might know Saido Berahino for playing football with West Bromwich Albion, but this week he joined Councillor Muhammad Afzal and Revd Dr Andy Jolley of Aston Parish to celebrate the opening of a 33 apartment, brand new affordable accommodation development on Church Road in Aston.

Previously a residential home for the elderly, Harry Watton House has been transformed into a supported housing development for 16-25 year olds who would otherwise be unable to afford housing in Birmingham. Saido Berahino, striker for West Bromwich Albion, officially opened the new development alongside Aston ward Councillor, Muhammad Afzal, and CEO of YMCA Birmingham, Alan Fraser.

After being awarded £500,000 from the government’s ‘Empty Property Community Grants Programme’ to renovate and manage the empty and unused property, YMCA Birmingham has built 33 units of accommodation, all furnished, and 17 units have already been secured by new tenants. The young residents have access to round the clock support from a team of dedicated YMCA staff, ensuring that they receive the care they need in order to be further supported into education, training and employment.

Saido Berahino, who cut the ribbon to open the new 33 unit facility, said: “It was a huge honour for me to open Harry Watton House.  We should always remember how lucky we are and that there are other people less fortunate than ourselves; people who do not have a roof over their head, something that most take for granted.  I wish the YMCA and the scheme the best of luck and hope that it gives people the support they need to achieve their goals in life.”

Our PR assistant Jonathan event managed to get a photo with Berahino!

This is just the start of an exciting time for YMCA Birmingham, who recently received a £1m grant from The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to expand their largest housing facility, The Orchard in Erdington. Watch this space for more updates coming soon!

Find out more about YMCA Birmingham and their work here.

Posted by: LucyBigCat on