The communities around our local YMCAs are the focus of our Association. We have been serving these communities for over 150 years.
At the heart of what we do is supporting some of the most vulnerable people, including those who don’t have a place to call home. For these local people their hostel room at the YMCA is the place where they live, the place where they get the support to build flourishing lives.
In the midst of the lockdown we have placed our priority on three key areas.
1. Those who live at the YMCA were asked to confine themselves to small bedrooms in line with the government lockdown restrictions. We put in place plans to support these individuals with wellbeing resources so that they can stay well in body, mind and spirit. These activities are ongoing and whilst many of our residents are now spending time outdoors there are also many in shielding who remain confined to a small space.
2. Throughout the pandemic those in our essential services, housing officers, cleaners, maintenance staff, catering, reception, counselling and chaplaincy teams have been working on the frontline to care for the residents and we’re all pulling together at a distance to continue to encourage our community to flourish.
3. Finally, our members, friends and the wider community. Prior to this crisis you were enjoying our gyms, singing in our choirs, winning at basketball and learning new skills in our youth clubs; those of you who are parents were seeing your children play and gain new skills at our children’s activities, nurseries and afterschool clubs. Now those services have had to pause for an unknown amount of time. The current situation makes our support to the vulnerable even more essential and your support to us even more critical. We are looking to the future and hoping we can reopen soon and have also launched online activities and digital support to ensure we are remaining in touch with those we help across the community.
We’ve a range of ways that you can contribute. We’ve been blown away by so many of our gym members and parents wanting to continue their fees during the crisis to ensure our services can be maintained.
You can donate specifically to our Health and Wellbeing fund and to our Children, Youth and Families team. If you’d like to donate directly to our housing services you can also do that.
Your generosity and contribution to our community is highly appreciated and we hope soon we’ll be able to express our thanks in person.
We will emerge from this and we will be stronger as communities as a result.