“YMCA has been like a family to me…”

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Women standing outside

We believe every young person should be able to fulfil their potential. Whether that’s learning a new skill, training for employment or improving their self-confidence as they take on new challenges. Sa’ida Mohammed, 30, has been a resident at YMCA Walthamstow for the last three years and is employed and training as a playworker in…

Our Be Real campaign takes a stand against body image negativity

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be real women holding sign

With summer now in full swing, YMCA is calling on people to show their real-selves and pledge to ‘be real’ in order to fight against body image negativity that arises from the constant bombardment of ‘beach body ready’ adverts, pictures and magazine features. Previous YMCA research has revealed that young people are heavily influenced by…

Inclusive Lives launches its EveryBODY Can Dance video

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Women participating in EveryBODY group class Over the past few months members of our Inclusive Lives Project team has been working with Filmanthropy UK to produce a user-led fitness instruction video. Funded by the Big Lottery. It’s aimed at everybody in the community, to encourage people to get active, dance and have fun! Even our care givers got involved in the video, showing us how...

Junior tennis tournament at YMCA Hawker

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tennis tournament

On Sunday 8 July we’re hosting the 11th Junior Tennis tournament – join us to support the youngsters as they compete! It’s a Knock-out format, and all singles finals will play over a set of six games. Some of the players will be seeded, based on draw size and matchplay rankings when the draw is…

Relax and focus with Tai Chi at YMCA Hawker

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Tai chi

Group exercise classes are very popular at our centres, taught by committed and enthusiastic instructors. At YMCA Hawker in Kingston, there’s a great range to choose from such as Body Pump, Zumba and Tai Chi. The current Tai Chi class is on Tuesday mornings 9am-10am and on fine days takes place under the trees on…

Our Inclusive Lives team win Silver at the Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards

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Inclusive Lives Silver Award Our Inclusive Lives project team won a Silver Award this month at the Merton Partnership Volunteer Awards, which was hosted by Merton Voluntary Services Council. It’s the Borough's annual celebration to acknowledge and pay thanks to the tremendous contribution that the thousands of local volunteers make to Merton. This year awards were presented by the...

Eid’s dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer in Walthamstow

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Eid's story

Eid Aljazairli, 24, is a young Syrian refugee who lives at YMCA Walthamstow. He fled Damascus and came to the UK in 2016. His dream is to become an Olympic swimmer after being inspired by watching videos on the internet of US Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. “He was amazing, flying through the water,” says Eid….