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YMCA Derbyshire to feed over 300 people this Christmas

14th December 2016

YMCA Derbyshire has over 300 people to feed this Christmas and give thanks to volunteers and donors for making this possible.

 The charity supports some of the most vulnerable people in the local community through the provision of accommodation, personal support and educational opportunities 365 days a year.

Gillian Sewell, Chief Executive of YMCA Derbyshire said “Whilst for many of us Christmas is a family time for some people it’s a lonely isolating experience. We hope that by providing a Christmas dinner, extra support and outreach to our residents and the elderly in the community, we are helping people get through this difficult time and easing their isolation.

YMCA Derbyshire will be supported by 20 volunteers this Christmas to ensure people are safe, fed and supported. YMCA is extremely grateful to their volunteers who are made up of friends of YMCA, staff and residents. One volunteer is an ex-resident. This time last year Kat was living at YMCA struggling with anxiety and worried about if she had any sort of future.

Kat had a meal with other residents last Christmas Day and said “it’s the only thing that got us through a difficult day. We had the chance to all get together have a great turkey dinner and then spent the afternoon playing board games”. “We are each other’s family in here and we are really grateful to donors and volunteers for making it possible”.

Kat spent 14 months living at the YMCA Campus. She arrived after a family breakdown and struggled with anxiety, lack of confidence and low self-esteem. Throughout her time with YMCA she received support with education and independent living skills. Accessed training, volunteering, mentoring and work experience opportunities. All with the aim that Kat would move on to live independently and gain employment.

Kat engaged in every opportunity presented to her at YMCA. She spent a year volunteering in the YMCA and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust well-being project, where she renovated gardens and worked on farms. She graduated from the Toyota UK Working Assets project which gives YMCA residents the chance to complete a 24 week work experience project getting them ‘job ready’.

Kat activity volunteered in the Campus café, and has been a member of the High Sheriff of Derbyshire’s catering team.

Kat also partitioned for a YMCA residents association and established this in late 2015. She’s held the position as Secretary for over a year securing over £5,000 funding for the association to give back to the local community.

A year on Kat’s in a very different place this Christmas. She has her own home and is working Full-Time at YMCA Derbyshire no less! She’s YMCA’s newest recruit working within housekeeping.

Kat understands better than anyone how important a Christmas dinner is to the YMCA residents and the elderly people we support in the local area. “I’m really looking forward to volunteering this Christmas. I know what a lonely time Christmas can be. I want to make sure no-one feels like they don’t have someone to talk to or something to do on Christmas day. I also can’t wait to give something back to a Charity that has given me so much hope for the future”. 2016 is going to be my best Christmas yet”.

YMCA is able to provide this vital support as a result of generous donations from individuals, businesses, schools and community groups.

YMCA give thanks to businesses including Bell & Co, PKF Cooper Parry, Boden Clothes, Derby University, Silk Mill, Zibrant and Sainsbury’s Wyvern who have also kindly agreed to a YMCA bag pack in store on 20th December.

The charity also thanks a large number of schools including Derby Grammar, Derby High, Heanor Gate, St Benedict’s, St John Fisher, Kingsmead and St John Houghton.

The YMCA Safe Front Door at Christmas campaign is really important as it raises awareness of both homelessness and loneliness. It’s not too late to join in! Its simple wear a jolly jumper and donate text YMCA16 £1 to 70070. Or email fundraising@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk to find out more.

Sean & Kat will be two of the volunteers this Christmas.


YMCA Derbyshire’s Ceilidh – 2nd September 2016

Elizabeth Fothergill CBE DL, The High Sheriff of Derbyshire hosts a Ceilidh which raises £30,000 for YMCA Derbyshire.

On Friday 2nd September 2016 180 guests were treated to a first class Scottish themed evening at Westgate Studios Long Eaton.

YMCA Derbyshire’s Training & Education staff, along with our catering students and young residents, prepared, cooked and served a delicious three course meal. The starter was Smoked Scottish Salmon Mousse served with Melba toast, main course was Chicken Balmoral Chicken Breast stuffed with haggis and wrapped in pancetta, accompanied by seasonal vegetables, and dessert was Cranachan sweet summer raspberries folded into cream flavoured with honey, whisky and toasted oatmeal.

The meal challenged our young catering students and residents in a way they have never experienced before. A catering team of 14 staff and 20 young students and residents arrived at the venue feeling nervous and apprehensive about the task ahead. 34 people left feeling extremely proud and delighted with the excellent meal they had produced.

The aim of the Ceilidh was to raise funds for YMCA Derbyshire’s Safe Front Door Campaign and give our young catering students and residents the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. The young people involved reported increased confidence as a result of volunteering with this event. The guests that attended stated “The meal was wonderful; I’ve not had as good meals at weddings and business dinners I’ve attended”.

After the meal an auction took place with guest auctioneer Graham Penny. The auction was well supported raising over £6,000. Special thanks go to our supporters;

  • The Mercian Regiment who provided Military Experience Days
  • Tony Walker for a Derbyshire Dales Drive
  • Toyota UK, Derbyshire County Cricket Club and Burton Albion Football Club who provided sporting hospitality days
  • Red Olive Caterers who provided a meal for twelve people
  • Longcliffe for a case of Devonshire Whiskey
  • Ark Capital for a case of signature wines
  • Chevin Golf Club for a golf day for four people
  • Richard Fothergill and Andrew Flack for their paintings
  • Sally Montague for a beauty hamper
  • The Butchers Bar and Steakhouse for a meal and cocktail masterclass
  • Amanda Solloway MP for a Monopoly Board signed by Boris Johnson
  • Hilary Disney for a 3 night cottage stay in the Yorkshire Dales

We were delighted by the support we also received from our raffle, which raised over £2,000. Prizes included signed memorabilia, tickets to events and meals out. Special thanks go to our supporters; Derby County Football Club, Derbyshire County Cricket Club, The Bowling Green, Slice of India, Sarasons Head, Le Bistrort Pierre, Cooper Parry, Firefly Photographers, The Quad, Howard Armstrong Hairdressers, Uttoxeter Racecourse and The National Adventure Forest.

Entertainment was provided throughout the evening with, The 1st Battalion PSI Mercian Band Saxophone Quartet playing during our drinks reception and meal. The CSM Dragon Coy Mercian Regiment Buglers provided a most wonderful call to dinner. Cameron Trotter pipped guests in to the event and Iain Fulton kindly pipped in the haggis. With The Last Drop Ceilidh band playing between courses and after dinner providing excellent dancing and merriment.

We are extremely grateful to our event sponsors. Special thanks go to; Bell & Co for their support of the drinks reception and Ceilidh Band, Longcliffe for supporting our programme and menu. Foundation Derbyshire, Quadralene and Manthorpe Engineering for their generous support of the event as a whole. Derbyshire Tartan’s support was extremely generous providing all the wonderful decorations for the evening.

On the evening, one of our young people, spoke passionately about the support she has received over the past two years. Asila came to YMCA Derbyshire in her late teens after a breakdown within the family home. Feeling isolated, alone and lacking in confidence Asila needed a safe place to stay. With the support and encouragement of staff, Asila started to attend social events offered to residents at our London Road Campus, these helped to raise her confidence and self-esteem, make new friends and feel she had a place within the community.  At the start of 2016 Asila attend the Derbyshire Wildlife Project on a regular basis and in May of this year became one of ten students to take part in the Toyota Working Assets programme (residents learn about the Toyota work culture and receive support with Maths and English and help to improve their CV and interview skills.) As part of this programme she is currently on a two day a week work experience programme as an Admin assistant at Toyota.  In February this year, Asila gained the confidence to move into one of YMCA Derbyshire’s of site shared accommodation flats. When Asila spoke at our Ceilidh she told our guests of her goal to gain full time employment so that one day she could purchase her own home, this was a true personal testimony of how she has grown in confidence and belief that she can achieve her life goals.

We give sincere thanks to Elizabeth Fothergill CBE DL, for choosing YMCA Derbyshire as her charity of choice for her year as The High Sheriff of Derbyshire and hosting our Ceilidh. We give thanks to Mrs Fothergill and all the guests, sponsors and donors of our recent event.  The evening was a huge success and exceeded our expectations. The money raised will go towards our Safe Front Door Campaign and will make a huge difference to the support and positive activities we can provide to the young and vulnerable people we support in this coming year. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact we can have on more young people’s lives like Asila as a result of this Ceilidh.

Please see below photographs from the evening, courtesy of Frances Milburn Photography.


dancing-17   daning-9






Home and Hope: YMCA Derbyshire’s Annual Celebration Event

Our celebration event is a chance for young learners, residents, staff and supporters to come together to celebrate the achievements of our young people and supporters from the past twelve months.

The Keith Lewis Memorial Award was given to Mai Cook who had completed her City and Guilds in Retail and Customer Service, actively volunteered, and been a hardworking student who is polite and supportive to others.
The Sue Howard Memorial Award was given to Sandar Ali, who arrived in to the UK as an unaccompanied minor. It was initially decided that Sandar could not sit his GCSE’s due to his short time in Education. However due to his excellent progress he was able to sit his English, Maths and Science GCSE’s. Sandar has aims to become a police officer, in his words to “give back to a country which has given him so much”.
The Alan Hart Memorial Award was given to the SOLID residents association. Who have demonstrated their commitment to changing the local community through volunteering activities. They are advocates of mental health, readily using their own personal experiences to highlight how through the support of YMCA Derbyshire their own health has significantly improved.
The Recognition Award was given to Mandy-Jayne Evans from Toyota UK. Mandy-Jayne has been a great supporter of our YMCA for many years now, working directly with our young people to help and guide them towards employment. This year she also decided to take on the challenge of Sleep Easy (Sleeping rough for one night so others don’t have to). Through her determination she independently raised over £3000 for our Safe Front Door campaign.
The Chief Executive Award was given to the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. The positive activities and opportunities they have given our young residents this past twelve months has enabled many to complete a positive journey improving their quality of life along the way.
The Tim Farqhaur Award was given to The Reverend Paul Taylor for his continued support and commitment to our cause. From move-on boxes to Christmas dinners and presents he works tirelessly within the local community to bring in donations to our Safe Front Door Campaign.
The Chairman’s Award went to one of our young residents Daniel Bradshaw for his inspirational journey, from homelessness to training to be a paramedic. His determination and positive attitude has enabled him to become a considerate tenant, prepare to start a pre-access course at college, and secure a place with the NHS Ambulance Service. His caring nature for others means he also hopes to become a mentor for other young people.

After the awards had concluded one of our young residents Patrick bravely stood up and shared lyrics that he had written. A line that struck a chord with us here at YMCA Derbyshire was “I don’t feel no fear…this is my home“.

This was followed by one of our Board Members David Ayling who gave a poignant finish; “Lives have been changed, transformed, turned round, there is hope and life”.




Tensing Group

Come and volunteer at YMCA Derbyshire

We are looking for 4 Volunteer Creative Young Leaders

for Derby’s first Young People’s Tensing Group.



 YMCA Derbyshire in partnership with Derby City Church and Derby University are working to establish Derby’s first young people’s Tensing group from October 2016.

Tensing is an international youth programme within the Worldwide YMCA Network, which focuses on equipping young people with life skills by allowing them to express themselves using their own (youth) culture through Creative Performing Arts.

Tensing aims to target young people aged 11-18 and welcomes everyone irrespective of gender, beliefs, race, social background and talents. The underlying objectives of this programme are to provide a safe space where young people can experience leadership, democracy and personal and professional development of body mind and spirit. It will function as a creative work process that uses different cultural expressions in a Christian context.

We are looking to recruit 4 young (18 to 30 years) volunteer creative leaders to be part of a Tensing Project Team. This is an exciting opportunity for creative young adult leaders, who have the ability to teach/coach and encourage young people to develop their skills in music, dance and drama.

We are looking for positive young adults who have the drive and wholehearted commitment to develop young people’s creative talents.

Tensing is a creative expression of the Christian faith and all potential candidates need to respect Christian values.

Candidates should have expertise/skills in performing arts and have the ability to pass on those skills to young people.

The four leaders will be part of the Project Team led by Rebekka Mason (YMCA Change Agent); the project team will jointly plan and deliver a weekly programme of creative activity and a number (to be agreed) of external performances.

The Tensing group will meet weekly on a weekday evening for 2 hours and leaders will need to commit a regular 3 hours per week for up to 46 weeks of the year. Prospective leaders will need to demonstrate reliability and a commitment to attend the weekly sessions.

Developing plans for the Tensing group has involved visits to the Cambridge Tensing Group which has been running for over 20 years. The Project Team will have the opportunity to visit the Cambridge Project in September to support team plans.

Tensing has a worldwide network having first been established in Norway. The network organise annual gathering of tensing groups and members of the project team will get the opportunity to participate in these events.

We have successfully applied for a grant to support the establishment of the Tensing group and intend to raise funds for the group through a number of external group performances to enable your people to positively express their talents to a wider audience and recruit new members.

These volunteer posts provide a terrific opportunity for creative young adult leaders to gain valuable experience of working with young people by utilising their creative skills and be part of a positive and dynamic team and partnership.

If you feel you have the necessary skills and positive commitment to develop young people, we would encourage you to apply for a young creative leader role.

For further information please email Rebekka Mason (Project Leader) at rebekka.mason@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk or David Finn on david.finn@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk 

Closing date for applications is 9th August.




Annual Celebration Event – 8th July

All are welcome! Please do come and join us to celebrate the achievements of our young learners and residents. To attend please RSVP to Jenna.Shaw@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk.

We hope to see you there!


Celebration Event


HRH The Duke of Gloucester opens Claude’s YMCA Derbyshire’s new café

CLAUDES29th June 2016

HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG opens Claude’s – YMCA Derbyshire’s new café at Marble Hall, Nightingale Road.

Yesterday The Duke of Gloucester KG officially opened the former Rolls-Royce building Marble Hall. A £4 million revamp has transformed the building into a managed workspace and community hub.

YMCA Derbyshire has taken on the café within the building servicing business tenants and the local community.

Claude’s named after Claude Johnson former Managing Director and often referred to as the hyphen in Rolls-Royce will be operated by YMCA Derbyshire’s Training & Education team.

Young people aged 16-18 (19-24 in some cases) will gain City & Guilds qualifications – Entry Three Introduction to the Hospitality Industry and Level One and Level Two Certificate in Culinary Skills.

Through these courses learners will also improve their Maths and English, gain employability skills and valuable work experience within a busy café.

Claude’s will also enable YMCA to offer Traineeships giving young people the structured work experience needed to move in to further employment.

The state of the art kitchen at Claude’s will enable young people to have the best opportunity to succeed in their pursuit of a career in hospitality and catering. Claude’s’ will also be demonstrating the learner’s skills through a buffet menu and business lunches made to order.

Young people will be creating a better future for themselves through experiences that can only be achieved through real life application.

As with all aspects of YMCA’s work it is a two way process, the learner’s newly gained skills will help build Claude’s into a community hub – a place to bring people together.

Henry Royce was known to say; ‘Whatever rightly done, however humble is noticed’. Claude’s shows that the potential held through making tea and having a place to congregate can make a huge difference in the health and wellbeing of the lives of all.

Reflective moments can be enjoyed in the outdoor seating, and quiet area or customers can enjoy the main hustle and bustle at the front of the café.

To book a buffet, please ring Claude’s directly on: 01332 742605

To view the menu please visit: http://ymcaderbyshire.org.uk/hospitality/claudes/ 

Photo’s from the Official Opening:


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Marble Hall   Claude's     RRR




The “All Together Now” blog

Coming into be interviewed for the YMCA Derbyshire, the rememberable aspect was talking about how the charity uses Maslow’s hierarchy of need to make the lives of those within their community healthier, more positive and with a greater fulfilment. After beginning my internship I’ve realised they do more than this, that this is a two way process. To give one example, on a trip this morning to Handyside Court, I saw how the learner’s were utilising their skills in catering to cook meals for the elderly residents. The residents had the benefit of freshly cooked, nutritious meals and the learners had the opportunity to see how their skills could assist others.

Hence the perfect name for the newly revamped, modernised YMCA newsletter is ‘All together now.’ I’m researching, editing and planning it from my new desk, the residents living just below me. When I go for lunch in the café we could wave to each other from across the kitchen. Their new home encourages them to learn, nourishes growth of the person and opportunities to network just as much as my new job does. I’m working on marketing- social media, posters, newsletters- to promote both their growth and the charities’. With the support of the YMCA, one day they will leave encouraged to make the world a better place, just as we have encouraged them to make themselves a better person. That is someone who knows that they have a friend, someone who has felt the safety and comfort of a home, and someone who knows that they can succeed as they grow.

Hannah Harvey

YMCA Derbyshire Fundraising & Communications Intern


Sleep Easy 2016

On Friday 4th March 70 people completed Sleep Easy 2016!

Thank You to everyone who participated in and or donated to our event. It was a huge success with £28,322 raised to date!  


Congratulations to those currently at the top of our fundraising leader board!

 Leader Final

A glimpse of what happened on the night…


Claire kindly kept us fed and watered!

Gillian and Louise Curd

Sleep Easy veterans Louise Curd and

YMCA Derbyshire CEO Gillian Sewell

Sam and Hayley - Purpose Media

Hayley & Sam from Purpose Media


Mandy Evans from Toyota


Ibox Creative

Team iBox Creative

Team Geldards

Team Geldards

YMCA Derbyshire

Participants from YMCA Derbyshire



fire 2



Time round the fire


A big Thank You to Pride Park Subway


Local MP Amanda Solloway being interviewed by the BBC

David Finn

Our Participations Manager David Finn arrived at 6am

with our residents to start the clear up!


Our residents cleared the site at 6am and we’re

grateful that many had slept rough so they don’t

have to!

What is Sleep Easy?

Sleep Easy is a YMCA fundraising initiative raising money to help change the lives of vulnerable young people.

What difference does Sleep Easy make?

A staggering £35,800 was raised at our 2015 Sleep Easy event. This money went to our Safe Front Door campaign which enabled us to provide;

  • 211 people with a safe place to live
  • Personalised 1:1 support resulting in; 45 people moving on to live independently and 53 gaining employment
  • 10 young people to take part in our Toyota work experience project resulting in 5 gaining employment and 4 pursuing further education
  • 15 young people to gain a Business Mentor giving the extra support needed to gain employment resulting in 8 young people gaining employment

The young and vulnerable people we support arrive at our door with a variety of issues such as homelessness, relationship breakdowns, neglect, abuse, mental health, learning difficulties, substance abuse, exploitation. The money we raise from events such as Sleep Easy enable us to provide the vital support our young and vulnerable people need to move on to live independently and become contributing members of our society.

We’d like to quickly tell you about one of the young people we supported last year;

Mitch arrived at our door in December 2014, he arrived in a depressed state and spent the first 3 weeks alone in his room. Gradually with the help of our staff Mitch started engaging in positive activities, he joined the football team and took part in Derby County Football Club’s Achieve FC sports leadership programme – here he also had the opportunity to visit St James’s Park and meet Prince William. Mitch was then supported to join the Toyota Work Experience programme. He completed the 24 week programme with 100% attendance, improved his Maths and English, received help producing a CV and preparing for an interview and also completed 120 hours work experience.

“All of us who graduated the programme had tough moments, we all felt at times we couldn’t meet some of the challenges presented to us. The support we received from YMCA Derbyshire and Toyota gave us the confidence to complete the programme. We improved our self-confidence and learnt how you need to conduct yourself at work. For all of us it’s been the best programme we’ve ever been involved in”.

In October 2015 Mitch gained full time employment at Green Metals Toyota UK’s recycling plant. He’s moved out of YMCA Derbyshire in to his own flat. He’s doing great!! Mitch is thankful for the staff at YMCA Derbyshire who supported him from day one and throughout his time with us. He’s grateful to Toyota UK for providing the extra opportunities he needed to move on to become a contributing member of society.

mitch 2

Above: Mitch giving his graduation speech after completing the Toyota Working Assets programme in 2015.

Media Coverage:  

The BBC kindly covered our event on Radio Derby, Daily Politics East Midlands and East Midlands Today News.

Thank You:

We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact we will have on young and vulnerable people’s lives this coming year as a result of people sleeping rough for one night! Thank You!


NEW Annual Report!

Our brand new Annual Report 2014-2015 is out now!

Click here to view a full PDF version of the report: YMCA Derbyshire Annual Report 2014-2015

Or similarly, you can email liz.richardson@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk if you would like copy sent to you via post.




Brand New Hospitality Course

A brand new class starting on Thursday 7th January, there is still time to sign up by clicking here: Register Now

YMCA Derbyshire’s Study Programme in Hospitality and Catering.

YMCA Derbyshire’s Study Programme in Hospitality and Catering is a free 34 week course for those aged 16 to 18 (19-24 in some cases) leading to a recognised qualification in Hospitality and Catering from City and Guilds. This course is a roll-on, roll-off course on which you can enrol in any week of the year.  It is delivered over three days a week and includes qualifications in Employability and Personal Development, Maths and English. You will benefit from one to one support, small class sizes and a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. There will also be the opportunity to take part in work experience.  You can apply for a bursary and bus fares to and from the centre are paid for. At the end of the programme you will gain accredited qualifications that can give you the edge  in today’s competitive job market and an ideal platform for further training.

It is delivered from our centre in Chesterfield   (we have identical courses in Derby and Ilkeston) and will equip you with a wide range of career-focused skills. Please email learning@ymcaderbyshire.org.uk or telephone 0115 9443226 for more information.