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Changing People’s Lives














Winter 2017 Newsletter Update: European volunteers and The Junction Sports & Leisure Centre Pg 3

Lytchett Minster School 6th form raise £3000 for us by ‘sleeping rough’ for the night Pg 4

Five local schools mark World Homeless Day with amazing fundraising events Pg 5


Diversity Award win and other successes for our Youth department Pg 6


“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood.” John 1:14

This will be my third Christmas as a married man. When it came time for me to tell my wife how much I loved her and to ask her to marry me, do you think that I sent one of my friends to relay the message for me? Of course not. I needed to go to tell her myself, because in matters of love, one must go oneself, right? This is how God shows the greatness of his character toward us. He has not sent this person or that prophet, this message or that messenger to communicate his love for us. However, for some people, Christmas can be a Instead, he has come himself, because in matters very difficult time. Many of the individuals we work of love, one must go oneself. Jesus came to earth with at YMCA Bournemouth have experienced to communicate His love for us. This is the source broken relationships, leading to feelings of hurt, of the indestructible joy and celebration available sadness, loneliness and resentment at Christmas. to everyone at Christmas. Others dislike Christmas due to how At YMCA Bournemouth we are passionate about commercialized it has become, the expense joining with God in building communities where involved, the pressure on buying the right presents people can experience His love. and a myriad of other personal reasons. Please enjoy reading about how we build those However, I believe Christmas can be a time of communities and how we support vulnerable indestructible joy and celebration for everyone. people at Christmas and throughout the year. “How can this be?” you may well ask. Merry Christmas! Because we hit the centre of what it’s all about. Two simple Bible verses about the birth of Jesus… Jez (Chaplain, YMCA Bournemouth) My wife and I absolutely love Christmas, we celebrate in grand fashion starting with the first weekend of December. We take a trip to a remote village in the countryside and celebrate all things Christmas. We join the celebrations of the local villagers, visiting their Christmas fair and carol service.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 seeing their non-resident parent. The Boscombe and Southbourne Lions are a group of people, of any age or background, who get together to raise money and socialise. If you We would like to thank the Southbourne and are interested in becoming a ‘Lion’ please contact Boscombe Lions for their very generous donation Matt at The Bristowe on 01202 423692. of £500 for teddies, toys and craft materials for our Child Contact Centre. The centre provides an opportunity for children to spend time with family members they do not usually live with .

Thank you, Lions!

Representatives of the Lions, Jud and Matt (pictured with Head of Family & Relationship Services Jackie Huggett and Talene Radjabi-Pittwood, Child Contact Centre Co-ordinator) recently came to our offices to present us with our resources. The Lions are supportive of what we are aiming to achieve and understand the difference that the correct environment and resources can make to a child

Profile: Nick Gillespie


Swimming Pool Manager, The Junction Sports & Leisure Centre YMCA Bournemouth have been in management of the Junction Sports and Leisure Centre in Broadstone since July 2009. The Junction, the facilities of which include a 20m swimming pool, a fitness and free weights suite, outdoor tennis courts and a sports hall, offers the local community a huge array of fitness classes and opportunities. gaining experience managing What is less commonly known and leading a team. His main is that by using The Junction, responsibilities were managing individuals and groups are also the pool and coordinating the supporting us. Part of every swimming lesson programme.

resulting from those courses are mandatory for all lifeguards. So far, Nick has successfully trained 30 people with a 100% pass rate!

Nick said: “I can honestly say I very much enjoy both my job and working with my colleagues. I find the leisure industry rewarding and hugely exciting in the sense that this industry is fast changing. Teaching people to learn how pound spent at the centre goes Nick’s leadership has helped to save lives is something I towards our work supporting The Junction’s swimming am very passionate about and vulnerable local people. academy go from strength enjoy immensely.” Nick Gillespie has been to strength. It now has over The Junction’s next National employed at The Junction for 700 participants, including Pool Lifeguard Qualification nearly 20 years after becoming in new disciplines such as course runs from 18-22 a lifeguard at the tender age synchronised swimming. December from 8.30am-6pm. of 16. He went on to study Nick recently became qualified An excellent starting point for a an apprenticeship in Sports & as a National Pool Lifeguard leisure industry career, NPLQ is Recreation, then qualified as Trainer Assessor, which recognised around the world. If a full-time swimming teacher. enables him to run National interested, please contact Nick Later he was promoted from Pool Lifeguard Courses at The on 01202 777766 or ngillespie@ Lifeguard to Duty Manager, Junction. The qualifications

EVS volunteer update Last issue we welcomed the European Voluntary Service (EVS) volunteers who would be working with us over 2017/18. They have settled in beautifully.

Last week they were in London for training. EVS volunteer Anna Stroele described how, “Amongst other things we learnt about culture shock and Kveta, Corina, Deborah, Simone, the cultural iceberg (there’s Anna, Amelie, Melis, Stefano more beneath the surface). and Burcu are undertaking Thanks to a thorough induction voluntary placements in the we knew a lot already, but it was Youth, Marketing, Sports and great to meet other volunteers Leisure, Children’s Pre-School and explore London together.” and Chaplaincy departments. The group have decided to work

on regular community activities as the ‘Community Events Team’, starting with ‘Kinson Christmas on the Green’. They are now planning intercultural Christmas activities including arts and crafts and storytelling.


Lytchett Minster School 6th form students raise £3000 by ‘sleeping rough’

“Tape, tape!” one of the students cried as her team’s carefully constructed cardboard shelter began to collapse in the face of the cold November wind passing through the grounds of Lytchett Minster School. On 3rd November 2017, over 60 Lytchett Minster School sixth form students gave up their Friday night to raise funds for YMCA Bournemouth and raise awareness of homelessness, by building cardboard box shelters in the school grounds and sleeping out for the night. The event raised over £3000!

The boxes for the event were kindly donated by The Big Yellow Self Storage Company

The 16 to 18-year-olds sought sponsorship for their ‘Sleep Easy’ challenge before giving up their Friday night to don winter coats, build shelters and keep themselves warm through quizzing, exercises and eating croissants donated by Tesco and “We see a lot of homelessness pizza donated by Domino’s. locally,” said participants Sophie Prizes were awarded for the best Read, Georgia Spring and Lizzy shelter, with the winning teams Woods (above). “It makes you – led by students Millie Murrayfeel bad for them and lucky that Brown (above right) and Katie it isn’t you.” Harrison – awarded Domino’s vouchers. There were also The students were eventually driving lessons, courtesy of New driven inside by torrential rain Driver, awarded to the leading but all involved were delighted fundraiser, Rhiannon Weaver, to have taken part. Headmaster Andrew Mead said: “The students who raised over £250!

got a real understanding of how brutal it must be to sleep rough and be exposed to the elements. What they would not have gleaned is just how lonely, scary and alienating it must be for people who have nowhere to call home. “I am very grateful to YMCA Bournemouth for inspiring our young people to take part in this very worthwhile exercise. They will never forget it.” Our Deputy Director Mark Inkpen expressed our gratitude to the school: “Such generosity of spirit makes a huge difference to our ability to help tackle homelessness in the local area.”

We focus on providing short-term supported housing for vulnerable people and then equipping those residents with the skills they require to achieve, or return to, independent living. Last year we kept 229 people safe from homelessness.

Five local schools mark World Homeless Day and raise £2619 We were overwhelmed by the enthusiasm shown by the five local schools who marked World Homeless Day (WHD) on 10th October by running awareness/ fundraising days on our behalf. Together they raised over £2619 and we are hugely grateful.

Above: Winning entries from our WHD colouring-in challenge: Isobel Johnson and Tia Clarke; both Year 3, Bishop Aldhelm’s C.E. (V.A.) Primary School.

Following assembly presentations by ourselves on the causes and impact of homelessness, during which we handed out specially designed activity Headteacher Mark Saxby said: “The pupils see books, each school engaged with their pupils on the homelessness in Winton and wanted to make a difference. We had fun but also felt positive for issue and then held special fundraising events. having turned our prayers into action.” St Michael’s C of E Primary School invited their pupils’ families to donate coins with the aim of filling In Branksome, Bishop Aldhelm’s C.E. (V.A.) Primary a ‘YMCA’ chalked on their playground (main image). School focused on ‘being safe’ and building dens (below). “It was fun in the den,” said Joe, Year 5, In so doing, they raised over £1000! “but if I was in it every day it would feel cold, boring Headteacher Robert Kennedy said: “The day helped and lonely.” Headteacher Miss Dickson said: “Such a pupils to understand the plight of homeless people rich opportunity... to increase their awareness of this they see on their way to and from school. I was very issue. We are proud of our children and pleased to impressed with the generosity and support shown be supporting such a good cause.” by the families in support of this cause.” King’s Park Academy held a mufti day to raise funds St Luke’s C of E Primary School (above right) also for the cause. “It was a great day,” said Associate created a coin-filled ‘YMCA’ on their grounds. In Principal, Lauren Dean. “An assembly on the topic addition they ran a YMCA fact card treasure hunt, prompted some excellent in-class discussions built dens and sold pizza donated by Papa John’s. afterwards about why we were raising money and how it could help our community.” Moordown St. John’s C of E Primary School featured homelessness over a whole week, including simulated sleeping on the floor and building shelters. Year 4 pupil Sienna said: “It must be uncomfortable for people... they must be really sad and unhappy.” The school raised funds via a raffle and families also donated toiletries. Our sincere thanks to all those involved in these World Homeless Day events – you were amazing!



Christmas message from the YMCA Youth Forum The Youth Forum is a steering group made up of young people aged 16-25 who together represent all of our youth projects. They would like to say: “We have welcomed many new young people into our YMCA youth projects throughout this year which has given us an even greater insight into young people’s worlds and their experiences. “We are proud to have set up new youth projects in Branksome, Ferndown, Bournemouth and Pokesdown.

“We are delighted to have nine new European volunteers supporting our whole organisation.

“We received much needed Lottery funding to “It’s been a great year and we look forward to expand The Chatterboxes project for young even more success in 2018. people with disabilities. “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”

Advising Nationwide on autism On Wednesday 25th October, The Chatterboxes, our youth action group run by disabled young people, visited the Nationwide Building Society on Richmond Hill after being invited to make presentations on Aspergers and Autism. Nationwide wanted to improve their services, both for staff and members, and the two presentations were to be live streamed to three other Nationwide locations and a total of over 60 staff.

statements to explain some misconceptions about autism and Asperger’s syndrome. After this, we described how services could be improved through various methods of communication. We suggested how meeting rooms could be laid out and factors that could affect people with disabilities, such as lighting and wall colour. We also advised how changes in routines should be implemented, with details made both transparent and unambiguous.

We began by explaining the aims of the Chatterbox Project We ended our presentation and then used ‘True’ and ‘False’ with a video showing how individuals with disabilities can become extraordinary people. The feedback from our visit was incredible, with 10/10s on all feedback forms and numerous messages of gratitude for our presentations. We look forward to doing more of the same.


Residential trip On 28th October, we held our first Chatterbox residential at Sandyholme in Swanage, YMCA Bournemouth’s retreat and activity centre. During the trip, six Chatterbox members designed a peer mentoring training package for young people with disabilities for use in schools and youth groups. The concept of a ‘Peer mentor’ is that they are both a role model and a provider of one-to-one support. Michelle, a peer mentor on the trip, said: “It was exciting. For some of us it was our first night away from home!”

Chatterboxes win BYC diversity award Our youth action group, The Chatterboxes, has been chosen as the winner of the Celebrating Diversity Award at the British Youth Council’s (BYC) first ever Youth Voice Star Awards. The awards celebrate the breadth and diversity of the local work that takes place across the UK to promote young people’s voices. The evening ceremony took place in Islington, London on Thursday 9th November and several young people from The Chatterboxes took the big step of travelling there to receive the award. It was a chance for them to meet and be inspired Josh, Natalie, Amy and Jayden by other organisations who provide a platform proud when they said we were winners. I couldn’t for youth voices across the UK, tackling both stop smiling. This project is amazing and being local and national issues faced by young people. part of it has helped me so, so much. Just going Chatterbox member Jayden, 15, who attended to London was a huge achievement for me – the event said: “I just can’t believe it. I was so winning this award was the icing on the cake.”

Peer mentoring achievements Jane Smith, our Peer Mentor Coordinator, has recently moved on to a full-time position at Bath College. We were sad to lose her but she left a strong legacy of peer mentoring – trained peers supporting other members – across our youth work. Her key successes included the achievement of Approved Provider Standard for YMCA Bournemouth; training four

young refugees as mentors; helping our mentors plan and deliver workshops and training to others; and leading the first Chatterbox residential as part of creating a peer mentor training package to be delivered benefits which include healthier by teachers and youth workers. relationships and lifestyle Chatterbox peer mentor, Jacob, choices, a better attitude about explains how mentoring can school, higher educational help: “You help to give your aspirations, enhanced selfmentees a wide range of esteem and self-confidence.”

...and in other youth news •

Welcome to Adelle, our newest Youth Worker to join the team! Adelle is supporting Nick and Karen with our Fusion (Old Christchurch Lane) and Pokesdown youth clubs.

Our new youth club for home-educated children launched recently with 17 children attending the first session, all keen to return! The club runs in Fusion 1:30-3:30pm on Tuesdays and is £2 to attend.

Our youth workers have joined forces with Darren at Beaufort Community Centre to deliver Junior Youth Clubs for children in school years 3+ every Tuesday evening in Pokesdown Youth Centre.

Branksome Youth Club is looking for sporty male role models to volunteer on Tuesdays after school (plenty of female role models; not enough men!)

October half-term saw the ‘Inspire’ Holiday Club return to Townsend Youth Centre with 33 children attending activities throughout the week.

We would like to say a big ‘Thank you’ to everyone who has supported us in the last quarter.

Thank you

Our gratitude to Sainsbury’s, Talbot Health for the contribution of £2171.31 as a result of the money raised from their carrier bag charges for a period of time. Thank you to Heather Buckley for the donation of £100 in memory of Simon Dayman in order to support people of his young age at the hostel. Thanks also to Asda, Castlepoint for permitting us to do a fundraising bag-pack in their store, and indeed to all our wonderful volunteer bag-packers. To the sponsors of our wall planner: Ace Office Environments, ITSB, Coopal, Hoburne Dental Practice, Lyon Cleaners, Coversure Insurance, Gales Solicitors, Faithworks Wessex, PramaCARE, Yesss Electrical, A&T Group Insurance, Dorset Catering Services and Keith Jones Christian Bookshop. Huge thanks to the teachers and staff at Lytchett Minster School who raised over £3000 for us at their November 3rd Sleep Easy event, particularly organiser Laura Booker and top fundraiser Rhiannon Weaver. A special thanks also to Stacey Stevens and to the wonderful companies who donated goods, services or prizes: Dominos, Tesco, New Driver, Primark, The Big Yellow Self Storage Company, Lidl, Creams (Bournemouth Town Centre) and War on Waste. Our gratitude to Castlepoint Shopping Park for inviting us to fundraise with a Christmas ‘Singathon’ on 2nd December and of course to the 250 choristers taking part. Thanks to Pendelphin Singers, the EVS Volunteers, Southern Chorus, Voice Choir, Peter Aston’s Group, Citrus Choir, Amethyst Singers and Vocal Impact, and also to those community minded companies who donated to the tombola: Gap, Waterstones, W H Smith, Mountain Warehouse, Sainsbury’s, Thorntons, Superdrug, Frankie & Bennies, Clarks, NEXT, Smyths Toys, Booker, Currys PC World and TK Max. Our thanks to Nationwide for their donation of £750 towards the residents lounge at Westover Road, and to JP Morgan who contributed £600 and their ‘Good Works Team’ (right) of volunteers to transform the derelict back yard of our new supported housing into a neat garden area. And finally, a heartfelt thank you to the lovely staff and pupils of local schools who so enthusiastically supported our efforts to mark World Homeless Day (October 10th) and raise both awareness of homelessness and funds for ourselves. Together, the five schools raised £2619.28. Thank you St Michael’s, St Mark’s, Moordown St John’s, Bishop Aldhelm’s and St Lukes – you were amazing!

We need your support Donations Charity No. 1078728

Volunteering Can you support our work through volunteering? Do you want to work in a supportive environment, helping others, gaining skills and experience along the way? We are always looking for volunteers in our events team, children’s centres and youth teams. Corporate volunteers are particularly welcome. Contact:

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Changing People's Lives: the winter newsletter of @ymcabournemouth with details of our work, thanks to supporters and all our latest news