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Captain Tom 100

We’re proud to be part of the #CaptainTom100 challenge which celebrates the life and legacy of Captain Sir Tom Moore.


All you need to do is dream up a challenge based around the number 100, and complete it between Friday, 30 April and Monday, 3 May.
You could walk 100 laps of your garden just like Captain Tom, swim 100 lengths or sing for 100 minutes. There are no rules (apart from following Government guidelines) and it’s open to everyone.
Join team YMCA and start your fundraising journey now! Click here to sign up, or find out more.

Share your 100 and inspire hope!

Whether you’re juggling for 100 seconds, building 100 sandcastles or climbing 100 steps, we’d love to see it.

Help inspire the nation by sharing pictures or videos of your 100 on social media, using the hashtag #CaptainTom100



Do it your way! Together we can ensure Captain Tom’s legacy lives on.




YMCA Thames Gateway is pleased to share its merger with YMCA West Kent, enabling the two organisations to combine their strengths, skills, resources and knowledge to better serve the people and communities they work with across London, Kent and Essex.

YMCA West Kent will become one of the branches operating as part of YMCA Thames Gateway, joining Romford, Dartford, Greenwich and Bexley. Services delivered by YMCA West Kent will currently be unchanged and all the existing staff members will remain in post.

Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Thames Gateway, Dave Ball, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to welcome YMCA West Kent as part of the Thames Gateway family going forward. The past year has been really tough for a number of organisations, and especially charities, so to be able to come together to continue our work across an even wider patch is incredibly positive.”

YMCA Thames Gateway came to fruition when YMCA Romford successfully merged with YMCA Dartford back in 2015. As an Association, they offer around 500 young people with a safe place to stay every year, childcare support through nurseries, pre-schools, and after school, holiday and youth clubs, and deliver health and wellbeing through a gym and fitness classes. The merger with West Kent will see YMCA Thames Gateway add a number of projects to their portfolio of services including an education and training scheme that uses carpentry and joinery to engage young people, and excite them about learning, life after school and their role and potential in the workplace.

Interim Chief Executive of YMCA West Kent, Steve Osborne, said: “Our merger has followed careful consideration of the strategic objectives of both our Associations. By West Kent becoming a branch of YMCA Thames Gateway, we have the potential to grow our work whilst continuing to provide residential support and other services to the communities we have served for the past 30 years.”

The merger will be official from Thursday 1 April and it’s important to note that service users won’t experience any change in the way things operate.



FITNESS (digital schedule only)

Good Friday:

  • Schedule as normal

Bank Holiday Monday:

  • Rehab with Kim is cancelled. All other classes as per schedule.

CHILDREN’S SERVICES (Holiday Club only)

Good Friday & Bank Holiday Monday:

  • Closed. Holiday Club starts on Tuesday, 6 April

RESTAURANT (YMCA residents only)

Good Friday:

  • Breakfast from 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Dinner from 4.30pm – 5.30pm

Bank Holiday Monday:

  • Breakfast from 9.30am – 10.30am
  • Dinner from 4.30pm – 5.30pm
  • Due to reopen to the public on 17 May 2021




YMCATG’s Community Response


YMCA Thames Gateway have been working hard to distribute hampers and gifts to those in need over the festive period.  The charity, which serves some of the most vulnerable members of the community in Greenwich, Romford and Dartford, is providing essential hampers for families facing food poverty.  They are also providing gifts for the young people they support and those experiencing isolation.

YMCA ran a number of fundraising initiatives, including a community crowdfunding campaign calling on the local community for support.  The campaign raised over £1000 and a number of organisations including Bericote Powerhouse, National Grid, Woolwich Rotary, Kent Community Foundation and Dartford Lions also donated over £10,000 between them.

Hampers which are filled with staple items such as cereal and pasta as well as treats including Christmas puddings, mince pies and chocolates, and gifts will be distributed this week, as follows:

Royal Borough of Greenwich: gifts for residents/children, 116 family hampers including gifts for children

Bexley: gifts for nursery children

Dartford: gifts for nursery and after school club children, gifts for residents/children, 150 family hampers including gifts for children

Romford: gifts for residents, gifts for nursery and after school club children, gifts for Senior Citizens and members with serious health conditions

YMCA Thames Gateway’s Fundraising Manager, Emma Middleton said: “we have been providing support to vulnerable members of the community since the start of the pandemic and have seen a sharp rise in families needing our support, particularly in the last few days with 15 children being referred just this weekend!

“I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the campaign or volunteered to pack and deliver gifts for their support at this difficult time. It has been amazing to see our community pull together in this way.”

If you would like to make a donation to the charity, visit: https://ymcatg.org/donate/

YMCA Thames Gateway operates across several boroughs including Havering, Barking and Dagenham, Dartford, Greenwich, Bexley and Ashford. As a local charity, YMCA Thames Gateway has been serving the community for over 130 years. Whilst their focus is on young people, they work with all members of the community in the belief that everyone should be able to reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

Find out more about YMCA Thames Gateway at www.ymcatg.org.


Young and Black – new YMCA research

Young, discriminated, and Black: the true colour of institutional racism in the UK

New research by YMCA reveals that 95% of young Black people have heard and witnessed racist language at school, and 78% have heard and witnessed racist language in the workplace. Worryingly, young Black people in the UK said that they now grow up expecting to experience racism because of the colour of their skin.

Findings uncovered that in education, young Black people feel that racial stereotypes have the potential to negatively impact their development and opportunities, with 49% indicating racism as the biggest barrier to academic attainment, and half citing teacher perceptions.

When taking the next steps into employment, young Black people feel that employer prejudice affects their chances of getting a job, with 54% viewing bias at the recruitment stage as the main barrier to employment. Half of young Black people feel that lack of diversity also acts as a barrier, while 52% specified lack of diversity in leadership.

The institutions responsible for equipping young Black people with the tools to tackle their future are the same ones they feel are holding them back. And education and employment are not alone in this.

When asked about police attitudes to race, the majority of young Black people said they do not trust the Police to act fairly towards them, with 64% worried about being treated unfairly. More than half (54%) of young Black people said they do not trust the Police to act without prejudice and discrimination, and 55% worry about being falsely accused of a crime.

Access the full report here




Life after lockdown for young people

New research from YMCA reveals that 77% of young people have felt lonelier and more isolated during lockdown, 73% feel more stressed, and more than half (56%) are worried about falling behind at school. Five months into a global pandemic, this vulnerable and disproportionately affected group find themselves anxious, isolated and futureless.

As young people prepare to make the tentative return to school, 54% are worried that the pandemic will affect their final grades, rising to 75% and 64% amongst 15 and 16-year-olds respectively. Beyond exam performance, young people are worried about their futures with two-fifths concerned about getting a job (41%) and a quarter (27%) stating that the pandemic has affected their decisions on what to do once school has finished.

Naturally, this pressure will have affected young people’s overall mental health which has taken a significant hit since March. YMCA found that more than half (57%) stated their mental health has worsened and more than two-fifths (43%) are worried about their wellbeing as they come out of the lockdown.

Financial and family worries have also been a cause for concern, as more than half of young people report feeling worried about family job loss or not having enough money (57%), and 49% are anxious about their family’s mental health and wellbeing.

While the vast majority of young people (93%) have enjoyed spending more time at home, YMCA also found that 58% have reported that their relationships with family have become strained during lockdown. With pressures building at home and three-quarters (73%) of young people saying they are tired of spending so much time online, having somewhere safe to socialise and feel supported post-lockdown is essential.

As the Government relaxes restrictions young people find themselves desperately in need of access to safe spaces, positive mentors, mediation and mental health support – the fundamentals of good youth services. However, these services have suffered devastating cuts of 70% since 2010/11.

Youth services offer a vital lifeline within communities and provide young people with support, advice and a place to go when they need it most. In YMCA’s Out of Service report earlier this year, YMCA warned that without significantly re-investing in youth services we would be condemning young people to become a lonely, lost generation with nowhere to turn.

The introduction of lockdown has accelerated and exacerbated the situation, with young people forced to stay at home, isolate themselves from their peers and be without access to positive activities.

A generation which was already at a disadvantage have been dealt a further blow by COVID-19 and faces deep uncertainty about what is next for them in its wake. What is essential to support young people through the easing of lockdown and beyond are safe spaces like youth services. They can be utilised to carefully and positively build young people’s confidence, provide much needed support and guidance, and ultimately help them to get back on track.

Investment in vital youth services is key to helping young people prepare for the future and ensure that they are not left further behind. Therefore, YMCA [insert name] is calling on the Government to create a Cross Departmental Strategy for Children and Young People’s recovery from COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdown.

Read the full report here


You said, we did


A big thank you to members who completed our recent loyalty week survey. 

We have compiled a list of actions and responses to your feedback which can be viewed here.