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Local hostel resident organises a Macmillan coffee morning to help show that people in his situation can help others too

UPDATE: Our coffee morning on 28th September raised an amazing £217.69 for Macmillan Cancer Support. Senior Accommodation Support Worker Tess Charman was delighted by the response: “A massive ‘thank you’ to all those who helped with the MacMillan coffee morning – to those that promoted, baked, bought and donated their time and money to a great charity. We had some delicious treats and were totally overwhelmed by the amount of donations.”

The Daily Echo included a lovely piece on the story on Tuesday 2nd October. You can read it here

On Friday 28 September, a drop-in coffee morning will be held at YMCA Bournemouth’s headquarters at 56 Westover Road, Bournemouth as part of the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in support of Macmillan Cancer Support. Small cash donations can be made in exchange for coffee, tea and a selection of delicious cakes.

The event is inspired and co-organised by a resident of the YMCA Bournemouth hostel, Danny Ainsworth. 40-year-old Danny has been homeless most of his life. About three and a half years ago, however, he got help with his addiction problems, found a place in supported housing, got clean and became a volunteer himself, helping others who were stuck in his previous situation. “I loved it,” he says. “I was helping people: trying to give them a bit of what I had.”

Sadly, following the loss of his grandfather and a split with his girlfriend he fell back into bad habits and once again found himself homeless. “I just want to get back to where I was two years ago,” says Danny, who has been in the YMCA Bournemouth hostel since June and is now receiving the support he needs.

Danny, who had previously been behind the planning of an addiction recovery café during his time as a volunteer, decided to run a coffee morning in aid of Macmillan because his aunt had been cared for on a Macmillan unit before she died: “Nothing was ever too much trouble for the staff and they made my auntie’s last days as pain-free as possible. I just want to give something back.

“I also want people to see that residents in a hostel, people in my situation, are not only here to be helped, but that we can help others too. I want people to see the good that we can do. Please come along and support us if you can.”

YMCA Bournemouth, residents, staff and members of the public are all contributing cakes to the coffee morning, which will take place in the reception area of the YMCA building from 10am to 1pm. Anyone and everyone is welcome to drop by for cuppa and a nice slice of cake.


While visiting YMCA Bournemouth and speaking to its residents and staff, Conor Burns MP reveals some of the reasons behind his passion for homelessness issues

On Thursday 17th August, Conor Burns, MP for Bournemouth West, spent an afternoon at our Westover Road hostel to meet staff and residents as part of his continuing campaign to explore the benefits of cooperation between organisations dealing with homelessness.

Mr Burns was shown around our hostel and facilities by our Chaplain, Jez Du Puy, and our Head of Housing and Support, Kathie Pearce. They explained how the organisation is funded and its primary aim of helping residents progress from supported housing to independent living through, amongst other means, the teaching of essential life-skills, the provision of one-to-one support and assistance in securing long-term accommodation.

Mr Du Puy also showed Mr Burns around the Half Time centre, a collaboration between local Christian charities which provides washing facilities, advice and support to rough sleepers.

During his visit, Mr Burns spoke to a number of residents about their personal stories and revealed the story behind his own passion for the issue:

“I went to a private school run by Christian brothers and we were very much encouraged to consider that the privilege we had was one side of the coin; the other side was responsibility,” explained Mr Burns. “When I was in my sixth form, I coordinated a project to improve conditions for patients in our local mental health facility. Sadly, when I returned years later, the hospital had closed and some of those patients were the people now living in the street.

“Behind every person on the street there is a tragedy and I feel the obligation that we should do all we can. I’m not convinced that we’re getting it right here in Bournemouth or embracing the range of charity organisations, professional organisations and churches that wish to help. It’s in the town’s economic as well as moral interest to help people get off the street.”

Mr Du Puy said: “We really appreciate the interest Mr Burns showed in our work. Our initial aim is to make a personal connection with our residents: to find out what’s going on in their life and discover how best we can help them as individuals. So, we were particularly pleased that Mr Burns took the time to speak to residents”.

For his part, Mr Burns said he saw the role of YMCA Bournemouth as a vital component of the collective response that is necessary to tackle homelessness:

“The journey that led people onto the streets requires another journey to lead them off the streets. YMCA Bournemouth is a sort of service station for homelessness: the place where people can stop, refuel and get the levels right before heading to the destination, which is independence and the dignity of work.”


YMCA Bournemouth invites/challenges community-minded local businesses to take part in its biggest ever sponsored rough sleeping event

On the night of November 17, directors and staff from an expected 20+ businesses and organisations across Dorset will be braving the cold on our behalf to support ‘The BIG Sleep Easy’ at The Bournemouth Sports Club (Chapel Gate) near Bournemouth International Airport.

Fundraisers will wrap up warm, build shelters out of cardboard boxes, take part in fun challenges and then sleep outside for the night, protected only by their sleeping bag, hot drinks and the warm messages of those who’ve sponsored them. The event will take place in an enclosed area of Bournemouth Sports Club from 6.45pm on Saturday to 8am on Sunday morning.

We are inviting local businesses, groups and organisations to put their own teams forward for the event, the purpose of which is to raise awareness of local homelessness and essential funds to support our work.

A big ‘thank you’ to the local organisations already taking part:

All Together Care
Corbin & Co
Make Studio
Lester Aldridge
Ellis Jones
Harold J Walker
HD Telecom
WAY Group
PKF Frances Clark
Newnhan and Jordan Solicitors
LMA Architects

Fundraising Manager, Martin Stockley, said: “We had such great feedback from our previous Sleep Easy collaborations with Bournemouth University and Lytchett Minster School, we wanted to open the opportunity up to the local business community, who we thought would also benefit from the event’s team-building aspects, positive local community involvement and resulting impact.”

He added: “The aim is to raise at least £10,000 to go towards our work providing the support that homeless individuals need to help them return to independent living and a positive long-term future. We urge all employees to mention the event to their managers – it’s going to be a great night out for all involved!”

Local businesses already putting teams forward include Altogether Care, Corbin & Co and Make Studio, plus Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry members ITSB, Keyfort and Lester Aldridge.

Managing Partner of Lester Aldridge solicitors, Matthew Barrow, who will himself be sleeping ‘rough’ on the night on our behalf, said:

“We are delighted to be able to support our local community by taking part in the YMCA Bournemouth BIG Sleep Easy event. Homelessness is on the increase and local business support is vital to making a difference. YMCA Bournemouth is an integral part of our local community and by taking part in this event we are helping to change the social landscape in Bournemouth.”

If organisations would like to join other local businesses for a night under the stars this autumn and make a real difference to people’s lives, they can request an information pack from Martin Stockley on 07897 563 473 or martin.stockley@ymcabournemouth.org.uk. Individual fundraisers are also very welcome to join in the fun!


Asda Castlepoint donates £970 towards YMCA Bournemouth’s sports-based Inspire Holiday Club at Townsend Youth Centre

On Thursday 16 August, YMCA Bournemouth Deputy Director, Mark Inkpen, received a cheque for £970 courtesy of Asda Castlepoint to help fund their local Inspire Holiday Club at Townsend Youth Centre.

The programme, one of a number of school holiday clubs run by the charity in the local area, is heavily subsidised to ensure that children from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to take part. Priced at just £7.50 per day, children from five to ten years old take part in a host of sporting sessions, games, competitions and challenges designed to encourage involvement and promote and enable a healthy future. Activities include baseball, badminton, golf, rounders, football, athletics and tennis…plus many more.

YMCA Bournemouth’s Deputy Director, Mark Inkpen, said: “We’re hugely grateful to Asda for this generous donation. Local parents, particularly those on low incomes, can find it extremely difficult to occupy their children constructively during school holidays. Our holiday clubs provide a cost-effective way to keep them healthy and active while easing the pressure on those families.”

The cheque was presented by Dennis Godfrey, Community Champion at Asda Castlepoint, who said:

“As part of the Asda Foundation Healthy Holidays initiative, aimed at providing children across the UK with access to activities and healthy meals during the school holidays. Asda Castlepoint have been delighted to partner with YMCA Bournemouth, who have opened their doors to deliver the programme to such a high standard!”

For more information on our Inspire Holiday Clubs please email jthomas@thejunctionbroadstone.co.uk


RCCG, New Beginning Chapel presents us with a £3000 cheque following the success of Praise Dance 2018

The annual Praise Dance Festival took place earlier this summer with a diverse Christian audience celebrating their love of Jesus with hugely uplifting music and dance at St Swithun’s Church in Bournemouth. Having chosen YMCA Bournemouth as their charity partner, on 8th August the organisers, the Redeemed Christian Church of God – New Beginning Chapel, presented the charity with a cheque for £3000.

Choirs performing at the event, which took place on 23rd June, included RCCG Royal Crew Bournemouth, New Creation Life Ministries Praise Team and Living Tabernacle Choir Bournemouth.

Henrietta Osikoya, the church’s pastor, said: “We chose a charity that supports vulnerable people to reach their full potential in life. As Christians, we are called to feed the hungry and to help the vulnerable people around us, showing the love of Christ to all we come in contact with. We are showing this by choosing to raise money and donate towards the work of YMCA Bournemouth.”

YMCA Bournemouth Director of Fundraising, Martin Stockley, said: “Our sincere thanks to the New Beginning Chapel. The demand on our services in the local area, whether it’s providing accommodation and support for the homeless or essential services for local young people and families, has risen significantly in recent years. The money raised will make a real difference to people’s lives.”


Tobias Ellwood MP’s visit to YMCA Bournemouth coincides with Government announcement on continued funding for supported housing


On Thursday 9 August, we were pleased to welcome Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood to our Westover Road offices for a discussion about the services we provide within the local community. The visit coincided with the Government’s announcement that all supported housing funding will be covered by the welfare system1.

This announcement comes after months of consultation following a Government proposal to fund short-term accommodation through council grants, whereby councils would receive central funding and pay short-term supported housing rents at their discretion. The decision to retain the current mechanism means residents will claim housing benefit as usual, with their rent normally being paid directly to their landlord.

Jackie Weeden, our Executive Director, said:

“This decision is very welcome as it shows that the Government has listened to our concerns for both the people we support and for our staff, who have been living with uncertainty as to how funding would be maintained.

“This also allows us as an organisation to plan to invest in more housing stock so we can support more people, many of whom are extremely vulnerable.

“During his visit, we also updated Mr Ellwood on the youth and family services we provide throughout the conurbation, and the challenge of continuing this work in the light of reduced local authority funding and of short-term project commissioning becoming the norm.”

Mr Ellwood said: “I’m delighted to be visiting YMCA Bournemouth and hugely appreciate the work they do in the local area. The YMCA have such a good record, not just here but across the whole country. The concept of looking after those who are going through a dark chapter is so important. The key is to make it so that it is only a chapter for these individuals and not the normal situation.”


New Chatterbox magazine is out now!

The Chatterbox Project is our youth action project run by young people with disabilities aged 11-25 years old from Bournemouth, Poole and further afield in Dorset. The main aim of the project is to raise awareness of disabilities and create a community which is equal for all whilst being surrounded by friendship and laughter… a lot of it!

The Chatterboxes’ Summer magazine is out now! Crammed full of interesting articles showcasing all the wonderful Chatterbox adventures which have taken place over the last three months. These include:

– Our first ever Chatterbox Camping Trip with the RSPB

– Presenting at the Bournemouth Young Volunteer Awards and meeting the Mayor of Bournemouth.

– Various awareness-raising workshops and events carried out in local schools and in the wider community.

– Our visit to a local farm.

Read the latest issue online here:

If you’d like to find out more about our Chatterboxes please see http://ymcabournemouth.org.uk/youth-centres/disability-youth-projects/


The Marathon Festival: run for free and change people’s lives!

The Bournemouth Marathon Festival returns on 7 October this year and it’s going to be great! It’s also a brilliant opportunity to help raise funds for YMCA Bournemouth and make a real difference to people’s lives… while you run for free!

Known for excellent organisation, fantastic encouragement from spectators and some of the best marathon scenery in the world, the Bournemouth Marathon is a hugely popular international event for experienced runners and beginners alike.

And the festival’s not just for long-distance adult runners: its other events being the Bournemouth Half Marathon, the Supersonic 10k, Supernova 5k, the Junior 5k, the Junior 2k, the Junior 1.5k and the Kids Kilometre. You could get sponsored for any of these on our behalf and get a whole bunch of goodies and support for doing so!

Even better, if you manage to raise £2000 in whatever event you take part in, you’ll receive a LIFE membership at The Junction Sports and Leisure Centre, Broadstone and Lifewise Gym in Westover Road, Bournemouth – a prize worth thousands of pounds!

Pledge to raise at least the minimum amount and you will get…

  • Refunded cost of entry (up to £53.50)
  • Free gym membership (for adults)
    at the Junction Sports and Leisure Centre, Broadstone and Lifewise Gym in Westover Road, Bournemouth, from now until the date of the event
  • or Free Fusion fitness membership (for 11- to 15-year-olds)
    at the Junction Sports and Leisure Centre, Broadstone, from now until the date of the event, consisting of cardio/resistance machines from 3.30-5pm Mon-Fri and free public swimming
  • or Free swimming membership  (for under 11-year-olds)
    at the Junction Sports and Leisure Centre, Broadstone, from now until the date of the event
  • A YMCA Bournemouth running vest to use and to keep
  • Free fitness programme and specialised running coach advice
    based in Broadstone or Bournemouth as needed
  • Fundraising/Sponsorship resources, e.g. online donor page, sponsor forms and advice
  • Team YMCA Facebook Group to share training tips, photos and experiences

We also offer special support, benefits and publicity for any schools, businesses or organisations who’d like to take part. Please get in touch for details.

All you have to do is…

  • Bournemouth Marathon: raise £300 and we’ll refund your £53.50 entry fee
  • Bournemouth Half Marathon: raise £175 and we’ll refund your £33.50 entry fee
  • Supersonic 10k: raise £125 and we’ll refund your £27.50 entry fee
  • Supernova 5k: raise £75 and we’ll refund your £17.50 entry fee
  • Junior 5k, 2k, 1.5k or Kids Kilometre: raise £50 and we’ll refund your £9.50 entry fee

YMCA Bournemouth believe that everyone, and young people in particular, should have:

  • a safe place to stay
  • the support they need to develop and lead more fulfilling lives
  • the benefits of good health and wellbeing
  • someone they can trust

Running for us will help change someone’s life today to make a better tomorrow.

To register your interest or ask any questions, please contact Jason Thomas on 01202 777766 or at jthomas@thejunctionbroadstone.co.uk



Harry Redknapp presents YMCA Bournemouth with a cheque for £3000 following the success of Ferndown Golf Club’s Peter Alliss Charity Golf Day

Men’s Captain, Stuart Mackenzie, Sheena Dayman of YMCA Bournemouth,
Harry Redknapp and Ladies Captain, HelenStrawford


YMCA Bournemouth were grateful to receive a cheque for £3000 from Ferndown Golf Club recently as a result of funds raised during the golf club’s annual The Alliss Invitational Charity Golf Day last September.

Presentations were made by former AFC Bournemouth, West Ham, Portsmouth, QPR and Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp at a special catered event at the Golf Club earlier this year, with Sheena Dayman, YMCA Bournemouth’s Events Coordinator, accepting the cheque.

The Alliss Invitational Charity Golf Day 2017 was held on behalf of the Peter Alliss Wheelchair Crusade, which provides powered wheelchairs unavailable on the NHS, but other charities also received support. YMCA Bournemouth were delighted that Ferndown Golf Club 2017 captain Mr Stuart Mackenzie selected YMCA Bournemouth as his favoured charity.

Stuart said: “I chose YMCA Bournemouth as they are a local charity helping to support vulnerable people in the heart of the local community. I hope this year we raise vital funds but, most importantly, raise awareness of the great work they do with the homeless, young people and families.”

Martin Stockley, YMCA Bournemouth’s Senior Operations Officer, said: “These funds will help us in our efforts to support vulnerable people in the local area and help them achieve their full potential; including giving former rough sleepers the support they need to achieve, and retain, a roof over their heads over the long-term. Our heartfelt thanks to Ferndown Golf Club, to all those who took part and, of course, to Stuart – you’ve made a real difference to people’s lives.”



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