A HYELM Story - Sophie K

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What is HYELM?

For those who aren’t already aware of HYELM and their work, allow us to explain. We are a housing scheme designed to assist young people at the beginning of their careers. Big cities are the place to be when setting off on your  career , but often for young people this is a huge step; moving away from home to an unknown place, without the comfort of familiar faces or settings can be  daunting, and potentially dangerous if you haven’t prepared appropriately. We provide our residents not only with a safe place to stay, but a fun and vibrant environment where they can make friends and build a secure base  to start their careers from.

Our rents are hugely competitive and in line with the London Living Wage guidelines set out by the Mayor of London. This means  our residents can afford to follow their dreams without facing financial difficulties. We are also a London Living Wage employer.

Many wonderful people have come through HYELM over the hundred years that we have been running. Today, we want to share the experience of one successful resident in particular, Sophie K.

“Somewhere Affordable and Safe…”

I moved to London three years ago  to advance my career as a media freelancer, after finishing my degree at Bournemouth University. At first, I found there were hardly any jobs hiring for an immediate start, but sure enough I soon found work. Although I had a job sorted out, the London rents were higher than I was excepting (much higher than at home in the West Midlands!) and my entry level salary certainly couldn’t cover it.

I really wanted to be able to live somewhere affordable, safe and close to where I needed to be for work, but my chances of finding a place looked pretty small. I started to get worried, as I really didn’t want to give up on my dream of a life in London.

“I Felt At Home Immediately…”

My first thought was to phone home and ask for advice. I talked to my dad about what to do and it was his suggestion to contact HYELM. Back in 1983, he had stayed in HYELM housing while  studying acting at RADA. I got in touch with them and went to visit the Old Street location.

At Old Street I met a lady called Sheridan and she was so lovely. I felt at home immediately and could really imagine myself in  HYELM accommodation. I was also really pleased to hear that there was another woman living in the building as well, who Sheridan was sure I would get on with. So, I took the big step and put in my application to the HYELM scheme!

“The Best Decision I Have Ever Made…”

I moved into the Old Street housing and immediately felt more confident to start my new life in London, both socially and professionally.

There is so much to do and see in the city, but it is so easy to become isolated. Moving into HYELM was one of the best things I have ever done. Not only does the central location make it really easy for me to get to work, I have made friends that I consider to be soul sisters. Their friends are my friends, we have been to each other’s weddings and this is the best decision I have ever made.

“I Count My Blessings Every Day…”

As well as the friendships I’ve formed over my time at HYELM, I also benefitted hugely from the help provided by  HYELM staff. Not only is there always someone on site for a friendly chat or words of advice, there are also lotss of social events organised by Sarah, the Old Street manager, which are always great fun.

Since moving to London, I’ve started a career as an Assistant Director, and I’ve also turned my passion for surrealist and psychedelic lighting into a business, creating live visual effects for bands and performances. I count my blessings every day that I found HYELM. It’s amazing how decisions can make an impact on your whole life and moving into  HYELM housing definitely has. I’d  recommend the HYELM scheme to anyone wanting to move to London and follow their dreams.

How could HYELM help you?

Have you been inspired by Sophie’s story? HYELM could help springboard you into the future you’re dreaming of. Find out more about the HYELM -Old Street.

Are you eligible?

74 of the 125 bed spaces are reserved for key workers. If you are a key worker, you can find out more and register your interest using the London Mayor’s Share to Buy website.

To be eligible for one of the remaining 51 places, you must meet the following criteria.

Please select all that apply. 

You don't meet all our criteria, but we want to hear more from you. The next step is complete this short form.

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You meet the eligibility criteria, the next step is to complete our application form to make sure we are a good fit and book a tour.

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