YMCA THAMES GATEWAY




BARKING & DAGENHAM / DARTFORD
GREENWICH / HAVERING / ASHFORD

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LATEST NEWS

YMCATG’s Community Response

YMCA DELIVERS HAMPERS AND GIFTS TO THOSE IN NEED FOR CHRISTMAS

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.

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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

 

 

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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

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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.

 

 

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Limited spaces available at our Romford Holiday Club

We know that this year, summer holidays are going to be different for everybody. We also understand that it’s going to be more difficult than normal for most parents, who rely on the support of grandparents, friends and family, to help them continue to work while the children aren’t at school.

We are able to open a small version of our Holiday Club at YMCA Romford and are able to offer Holiday Club on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week, between 8.00 am and 6.00 pm. As with nurseries, pre-schools and schools, we are having to keep children in Bubbles for their own health and safety, as per Government guidance.

We have four spaces available from Tuesday, 28 July in Bubble A and we’re able to offer a second Bubble if the demand is there. Bubble B will provide 11 spaces, available from Tuesday, 4 August.

The cost is £34.99 per day but we also offer a discount for siblings and Blue Light card holders.

Places are limited and we will have to operate on a “first come, first served” basis, so to find out more, please email qualitychildcare@ymcatg.org or call 01708 766211 for more information.

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FITNESS REOPENING

As promised in last week’s email to fitness members, here’s an update on our reopening plans.

We’re pleased to be able to confirm that on Saturday, 25 July, in line with the Government’s guidance, we will be opening our fitness services to our members once again.

However it will, of course, look very different to what we’re all used to! The key thing to note is that every session – whether it’s a visit to the gym, or a class – must be booked in advance. No walk-ins will be allowed. This is to ensure that we are able to manage the number of people on site as well as the track and track guidance we are obliged to follow. If any of your details have changed, please let us know and we will get your record updated.

Booking will take place through our website and you will need to know your PIN to be able to book online. If you don’t know your PIN, don’t worry – simply email fitnessforyou@ymcatg.org or call 01708 766211.

Saturday, 25 July – Saturday, 1 August

This is Loyalty Week and is only for those who have maintained their membership throughout lockdown, while still enjoying a discounted rate. Your membership fee will remain the same as it has done during lockdown, providing you with the digital classes – so essentially access to the facilities is an added bonus for this week! The digital access will remain available as well as on site activities, although it’s important to note that on site classes will be reduced due to the need to ensure social distancing guidance is met and thorough cleaning can take place between classes and gym sessions.

Saturday, 1 August

All membership fees will return to normal and all members are welcome back into the building, providing sessions have been booked in advance. Anyone with a frozen membership will automatically be unfrozen and fees will commence from this date. If you are still having to shield and can provide evidence of this, we may be able to continue to freeze your membership so please do call us.

Please note that the digital offering will still be included in your membership, for no additional cost, so if you’re unable/choose not to come into the building, you’re still able to continue to exercise from home by taking part in our interactive classes.

MEMBERSHIP


We’re offering a “refer a friend” incentive to existing members upon reopening. If you refer a friend, they will receive 12 months of membership at £24.99 and you, as a thank you, will receive 3 months at £19.99 with an increase to £24.99 for the next nine months.

Another option is a Platinum membership, which we’re offering at £250 for the year. If you would like to convert your membership and save up to £170, please do this through the Front of House team before the end of September 2020.

It’s also important to note that if your circumstances have changed since we were forced to close our doors, and you are now in receipt of benefits, please do let us know. If you’re able to provide evidence of this, we may be able to offer a discounted membership rate to you.

Thank you to everyone who has been able to retain their membership throughout lockdown, been able to make a donation to our charity, or volunteered their time to help us with our work in the community. We’re so proud of how we have all stuck together, or perhaps come together even more than before, to keep our Association going.

CHILDCARE SUPPORT OVER THE SUMMER


We know that this year, summer holidays are going to be different for everybody. We also understand that it’s going to be more difficult than normal for most parents, who rely on the support of grandparents, friends and family, to help them continue to work while the children aren’t at school.

We are able to open a small version of our Holiday Club at the YMCA Romford and, as existing members of our Association, we would like to give you and your family the opportunity to take the limited places available.

We are able to offer Holiday Club on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week, between 8 am and 6 pm. As with nurseries, preschools and schools, we are having to keep children in Bubbles for their own health and safety, as per Government guidance.

We have four spaces available from Tuesday, 28 July in Bubble A and we’re able to offer a second Bubble if the demand is there. Bubble B will provide 11 spaces available from Tuesday, 4 August.

The cost is £34.99 per day but we also offer a discount for siblings and Blue Light card holders.

Places are limited and we will have to operate on a “first come, first served” basis so to find out more, please email qualitychildcare@ymcatg.org or call 01708 766211 for more information.

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An update on our fitness offer

Dear valued member,

The latest Government briefing has given the green light for our gym and fitness spaces to reopen after Saturday 25th July. While we’re delighted at this news, we are also incredibly mindful of making sure we’re ready, and all measures possible have been put in place to ensure your health and safety when on site.

All of the work we had put into the plans to reopen earlier in the month went out the window when Covid-secure guidelines were changed so we’re currently working on new plans that include the following:

  1. Online booking systems – as we’re limited in the numbers we can permit into the gym and our classes, an online booking system will be delivered that everyone will need to use.
  2. PPE – while we will not be providing PPE to members, there will be plenty of hand sanitiser and wipes available to ensure workout spaces are clean.
  3. Signage – making sure that everything onsite is clear and easy to follow.
  4. Classes – we’re able to offer onsite classes in one of our larger spaces to ensure social distancing. The Sports Hall will have clear social distancing markers to ensure people have plenty of space to work out. Also, only half the Sports Hall will be used each time so that cleaning can be carried out in the space most recently used while we are still able to offer a class straight after. This process means we can fit lots of classes in each day.
  5. Weights room – this will be open to reduced numbers but users are expected to take on more responsibility for cleaning the equipment they use.
  6. The gym – numbers will be restricted and machines/equipment rotated every hour to ensure cleaning.
  7. Personal Training – the Dance Studio will be used for PT sessions and some classes.
  8. Lockers – lockers won’t be used for the time being. Instead, all members will be provided with a box to put their personal belongings in that they can use during their time in the building.
  9. Changing facilities – this will be available but we will be encouraging you to come changed and ready to work out!
  10. Parking – you will need to be booked into a session in order to use the car park.
  11. Contact details – these will need to be up to date for Track and Trace, as required by the Government. Any updates can be provided through the booking form or by email fitnessforyou@ymcatg.org.
  12. Booking is compulsory – a link to our booking platform will be provided.
  13. PIN replacement – if you have forgotten or do not know, your PIN, you can call Reception on 01708 766211 or email fitnessforyou@ymcatg.org.

We will not open until:

  • all Risk Assessments have been completed
  • we have been able to unfurlough our Front of House staff
  • we have trained our staff in the new operating procedures
  • our signage is all in place
  • we have given you all the information you need to feel happy to return
  • we’re 100% confident that we are welcoming you back into a safe environment.

The Government’s Health and Safety guidance has been released and we’re making sure that our plans are completely in line with this. Please be assured that, behind the scenes, we’re working hard to reopen as soon as we can, and we’re going to be looking for a number of people to help us on our journey to reopening – watch this space for more information on that.

We will be in touch with you as soon as we have more definitive information about our date of reopening, as well as a timetable to share, but for now, keep working out online and needless to say, we can’t wait to see you!

The Health & Wellbeing Team

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