As YMCA St Paul’s Group we are upset and angered by the images coming out of America because of the unlawful killing of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer. What happened to George Floyd was very wrong but what it has uncovered is something in society which is tragic and too easily overlooked.
At YMCA SPG our vision is of young people thriving and communities flourishing, and we know that young black people and communities are disproportionately affected by the injustices that result in social inequality, unjust levels of incarceration and poor mental health all of which prevent them from achieving this.
Triggered by the scenes from America, over the last few days, we have heard numerous stories from our staff and service users who talk about the injustice and societal barriers that they face as a result of their skin colour. From Senior Management to frontline staff, service users and residents we know we all need to do at work and at home to identify and confront corrosive behaviours to make sure that Black Lives Matter.
We recognise why black families become worried about how their children will grow up, how they will be treated unequally and how they will need to work twice as hard to be recognised. As an Association we will do what we can to demonstrate love and service in seeking to support those in the communities we serve affected by unequal treatment and prejudice. We will also look to speak out when we see things that are not right.
Only by coming together and standing side by side can we create thriving communities where young people can flourish. Until then we will continue to stand up, support and shout out that Black Lives Matter
Richard James CEO
Fred Angole Group Finance Director and Deputy CEO
Jessica Laryea Group Director of Operations
Mark Agnew Group Director of Property and Places
Marjorie James Group Director of People