Working together is at the heart of it all

Ripon YMCA is a Social Housing Provider situated in the heart of Ripon and serving young people from the wider locality. This year Ripon YMCA will have been serving young people and the local community for 102 years. We have a rich and varied history of working drawing alongside vulnerable young people and helping them to transform their lives.

Today Ripon YMCA provides residential accommodation for 19 young adults aged 16-35. We provide practical support which helps tenants develop their potential in mind, body and spirit, enabling them to move from dependence to independence.

We also facilitate a number of activity groups such as the YMCA Red Triangle Drama Group meets on Wednesday evenings 7-9:00pm and helps young people to develop their character and confidence through performing arts, providing young people with a positive outlet for engaging in community events.  Ripon YMCA also hosts a toddler group called Helter Skelter which meets in our community hall 4 mornings a week. New members are warmly welcomed to both groups.

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Partnership

Over the past three months we have been seeking to meet with and partner with other local charities and organisations to create a collaborative approach to supporting our tenants and engaging more proactively with the local community. As such we have sought to get involved with Connecting Ripon, a gathering of charity and community leaders seeking to help Ripon become “A more connected area where our communities work together to make the city and rural parishes a great place to live, work and play”.

Connecting Ripon aims to:

– Celebrate and strengthen volunteering in Ripon and its surrounding villages;
– Support the development of inter-generational projects which benefit local communities;
– Increase awareness of what’s happening in terms of new opportunities to learn; earn; socialise; volunteer and to raise support for good causes through new media such as social media and super-fast broadband

More information on the work of Connecting Ripon is available here http://www.harcvs.org.uk/ConnectingRiponIt has been a privilege for us at Ripon YMCA to join the Connecting Ripon group because we share their values and commitment to community engagement.

Participation

I was travelling to Ripon this morning and the sun was just beginning to pop its head over the horizon. It was warm and bright and as its invisible rays kissed my face I was reminded that every day is a new day and a fresh start. This is true for us at Ripon YMCA: we believe in giving every person a fresh start and we are committed to providing every tenant with the support they require to move from dependence to independence positively. We cannot do this alone. Our work requires a community approach. Here are a few of the ways you can get involved:

  • Become a trustee: We are currently seeking volunteer trustees with a background in Business, finance or housing.
  • Volunteer a few hours: Help maintain our premises; chat with tenants; teach a skill; support admin – the opportunities are plentiful
  • Give a gift or create a Legacy: our work requires funding and gifts are always gratefully received.
  • Raise funds: this is one of the best and most fun-filled ways of supporting our work. We are seeking to raise funds to expand our current work through local sponsorship. Can you run a race? Sleep rough for a night? Be creative? – The possibilities are abundant.

We are excited about the future. It looks bright. It is exciting. And it is definitely worth getting involved in. If you would like to know more you can email CEO@riponymca.org or call the Ripon YMCA office on 01765 607609.

This article was written by Stuart McCormack for the ‘Connecting Ripon‘ column in the Ripon Gazette and featured in the February 2, 2017 editiion