11 November 2021

YMCA Derbyshire recognised with special COVID Community Impact Award at national youth charity awards

Staff, volunteers, residents and students from YMCA Derbyshire, who went above and beyond in challenging times, are celebrating after taking home a very special award at the highly anticipated return of YMCA’s Youth Matters Awards on the 5th of November.

The charity, which has operated across Derby and Derbyshire since 1847, won the prestigious COVID Community Impact Award at the leading youth charity’s national ceremony, which was held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in London’s Park Lane. Sponsored by various businesses from across the country, and hosted by acclaimed comedian and expert quizzer of ITV’s The Chase, Paul Sinha.

The First of its kind

The COVID Community Impact Award is one of two unique categories added to this year’s ceremony to mark the exceptional support shown by YMCAs over the past year and a half, and recognises a YMCA who has made a major impact in their community and gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic.

Covid Community Impact Award Youth Matters

Keeping the community connected

YMCA Derbyshire triumphed over strong competition from other incredible YMCAs across England and Wales during shortlisting, a public vote and a final decision by judges.

It was praised for regularly adapting its services to meet the ever-changing and increased needs of young people and communities during the height of the pandemic. Creating more than 1,000 emergency food parcels for individuals and families in need, as well as cooking and delivering more than 200 warm meals a month for those who could not buy fresh produce as a result of poor mental health or due to financial difficulties.

When COVID hit YMCA Derbyshire shifted their services online almost overnight. Creating online platforms for young people and communities to come together, hosting regular online community meals, quiz nights, coffee mornings and delivered their therapeutic counselling to those experiencing acute need online, to ensure no one felt alone.

Thanks to YMCA Derbyshire’s fantastic relationships with community members and businesses, they were also donated laptops, mobiles and dongles, which came as a huge relief to so many who would have otherwise been completely isolated with no connection to the outside world.

YMCA Derbyshire gave thanks to the charitable trusts and foundations that awarded them grants. Enabling them to increase their staffing and equipment provision, to provide these vital services.

YMCA Derbyshire triumphed over strong competition from other incredible YMCAs across England and Wales during shortlisting, a public vote and a final decision by judges.

It was praised for regularly adapting its services to meet the ever-changing and increased needs of young people and communities during the height of the pandemic. Creating more than 1,000 emergency food parcels for individuals and families in need, as well as cooking and delivering more than 200 warm meals a month for those who could not buy fresh produce as a result of poor mental health or due to financial difficulties.

When COVID hit YMCA Derbyshire shifted their services online almost overnight. Creating online platforms for young people and communities to come together, hosting regular online community meals, quiz nights, coffee mornings and delivered their therapeutic counselling to those experiencing acute need online, to ensure no one felt alone.

Thanks to YMCA Derbyshire’s fantastic relationships with community members and businesses, they were also donated laptops, mobiles and dongles, which came as a huge relief to so many who would have otherwise been completely isolated with no connection to the outside world.

YMCA Derbyshire gave thanks to the charitable trusts and foundations that awarded them grants. Enabling them to increase their staffing and equipment provision, to provide these vital services.

Gillian Sewell, Chief Executive of YMCA Derbyshire said:

“We are absolutely over the moon to be taking home the COVID Community Impact Award! Our team has worked incredibly hard to support our young people and community through an exceptionally difficult time, and I could not be prouder of everything they have delivered and achieved.

Thank you so much to everyone in the community who supported us – we couldn’t have won this without you, you are all part of the YMCA family. We can’t wait to celebrate this truly unique win and use it to inspire YMCA Derbyshire‘s continued support for a long time to come.”

YMCA Derbyshire’s Community Connector, builds relationships with organisations and individuals in our communities to keep everyone supported, engaged and connected, which was even more vital during such a challenging time.

Matthew Taylor, YMCA Derbyshire’s Community Connector said:

“Serving our communities through a global pandemic hasn’t been easy, but I’ve been so proud to see what has been achieved. We have shown resilience and the ability to go above and beyond.

Our communities have experienced increased loneliness, isolation, food and digital poverty. We saw increased levels of poor mental health, but we adapted our services, developed companionships and ensured we were there for everyone we support. I’m so proud that our YMCA won the Youth Matters COVID Community Impact Award and can’t wait to continue to develop our services, build further relationships and ensure we continue to help people navigate out of the pandemic and continue along their positive pathways.”

To read more about YMCA Derbyshire, a charity that provides accommodation for over 300 individuals each year, accredited vocational training courses for over 150 students and delivers a whole host of family work provision in primary schools along with vital youth and community work please visit www.ymcaderbyshire.org.uk and for more information on YMCA’s Youth Matters Awards visit www.ymca.org.uk/about/awards.

Celebrating YMCAs across the country

Youth Matters is YMCA’s national awards programme marking an integral part of the charity’s calendar since 2009, and was sorely missed last year due to COVID-19. It celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country and also recognises the vital work that YMCAs deliver every day. After an incredibly challenging time, this year’s awards are even more vital in recognising the innovation and resilience shown by YMCAs in the continued and unwavering support shown for their communities.

 

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