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
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
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
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.