4 June 2021

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.

(29 March 2021)