IMPAKT Housing & Support (formerly YMCA Bedfordshire) is an independent housing association that provides a variety of supported accommodation for ages 16- 65. Alongside our range of housing, we also impact our communities through other areas of social needs. From working with schools, support young people, creating food larders that reduce food waste, through to helping men and women flee domestic abuse our services are aspirational, caring and empowering.
IMPAKT Housing & Support began life as Bedford YMCA in 1986 as a local YMCA offering supported accommodation via one hostel housing 27 people in Bedford. In 2009 a strategic decision was made to change our name, as we had aspirations of delivering services across Bedfordshire, subsequently we became YMCA Bedfordshire. At that time, we delivered accommodation from 2 hostels and our staff number was small with an income of £500,000.
In 2007 Paul Hunt became our CEO and with his passion to offer quality accommodation focusing on being a person centred service, the organisation began to grow. Over time additional properties were added along with the expansion and successful delivery of the Princes Trust Team Programme. The Programme supporting 180 young people yearly across 5 locations assisting them back into education, employment or training.
In 2015 we were approached and asked to merge with a small youth project based in Kempston called Fun4 Young People (now called IMPAKT young people) with an annual income of about £40,000 a year. With our support this project flourished to offer 800 holiday and afterschool placements. By 2019 we were partnering with 50 schools, supporting 400 individual young people and had income hit £150,000 per annum.
In 2016 YMCA Bedfordshire opened a housing project in Luton called Midland House, this flag ship project offers accommodation to 78 people. Via its 36 two bedroom flats on the first three floors and 6 one bedroom flats on the top floors. The building provides community spaces, a coffee area, wellbeing room and breakout areas.
In 2019 we were approached by a group of Trustees asking us to consider a merger with Bedford’s Reuse Centre. Following months of consultation, the merger took place and YMCA Bedfordshire added a passion for the environment, impacting food waste and building on the need for society to focus more on recycling materials, to our vision and purpose. After the merger a social enterprise store was created selling recycled and upcycled furniture.
Being part of the YMCA Federation has served us well over the years, however, it became clear to our CEO and Board that in order for us to expand our service delivery, along with extending our geographical reach, and with changes within the Federation structure, our board took the decision to disaffiliate and from the 1st April 2021 we relaunched the organisation as IMPAKT housing & support.
During his tenure as CEO the organisation’s annual revenue has increased from of £500k to £4.9m, the number of bed spaces has increased from 55 to 225, and staffing increased from 22 to 76. Along with successfully merging two smaller Charites.
This is an exciting time for IMPAKT housing and support as we start on our journey as an independent Registered Provider of Social Housing that will offer excellent service provision across the UK. Our objectives are to work with local agencies, schools and Local Authorities to help them bring long term change to their communities.
IMPAKT executive team
Caroline Barkham Director of Housing
Paul Hunt CEO
Maddy Jansen van Nieuwenhuizen Director for HR & Organisational Development
Deborah Mags (chair) | Sue Bean | Lisa Hunt | Andrew McKean (treasurer)