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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.”



Praise Dance Festival supports YMCA Bournemouth with uplifting event on 23 June

Praise Dance Festival celebrates the love of Jesus with uplifting music and dance on 23 June in support of YMCA Bournemouth

Praise Dance Festival 2018, takes place on 23 June from 1-5pm at St Swithun’s Church, Gervis Road, BH1 3ED. A hugely uplifting annual event run by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) – New Beginning Chapel, it celebrates the love of Jesus through music and dance and is open to all. Choirs this year will include RCCG Royal Crew Bournemouth, New Creation Life Ministries Praise Team and Living Tabernacle Choir Bournemouth.

The RCCG New Beginning Chapel, who meet at the Roundhouse Hotel in Bournemouth each Sunday, have held the event for the past five years and chosen to support a different charity each year. This year, in the light of increasing levels of homelessness, they have chosen to support YMCA Bournemouth.

Henrietta, their pastor, said: “In the Bible, Isaiah 58:10 states, ‘If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, Then your light shall dawn in the darkness, And your darkness shall be as the noonday’ (NKJV).

“We have chosen 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.”

Our own chaplain, Jez Du Puy said: “Our sincere thanks to the New Beginning Chapel. The money raised will help us continue our work, both in supporting our formerly homeless residents in their journey to a secure, independent future, and in sharing Jesus with those residents. It is not always about telling them about Jesus but letting them see Him in action. The money raised will make a real difference to what we do.”

While performers and attendees raise their voices in praise and worship, donations can be made in supplied collection buckets and refreshments will be provided at nominal cost, with all proceeds going to YMCA Bournemouth.

It promises to be an inspiring local family event, with attendees encouraged to praise Jesus in whatever way they choose.

Free to attend, you can register at http://bit.do/praisedance or simply turn up on the day.

If you would like to support the event’s fundraising objective and our work, please donate on the day or online at:



Executive and Board of Trustee Changes at YMCA Bournemouth

Following a review of the current executive staffing structure and in order to drive forward the Association’s strategy for the next five to ten years, we are looking to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer as soon as possible, with the current Executive Director, Jackie Weeden, taking over the role of Chief Operating Officer (Finance Director) once the new appointment is made.

The Board of Trustees believes that the new structure will ensure the continuing success of YMCA Bournemouth and make us well-placed to continue to serve our current clients and customers, as well as expanding throughout Dorset in the coming years.

The Trustees wish to reassure our partners that all services are continuing during this period of change and of their complete confidence in the executive team.

The Trustees would also like to announce that Colin Hartland has stepped down from his post as Chairman of the Board of Trustees after the three years permitted by our constitution. They would like to sincerely thank Colin, who remains a member of the Board, for his excellent support and also to welcome our new Chairman, Richard Elms. Richard has been a member of the Board since September 2015 and is looking forward to fulfilling the role of Chair.


Easter message from our Chaplain, Jez Du Puy

When thinking what to write in order to inspire you to embrace the celebration of Easter, not just on April 1st 2018 but every day of your life, my mind was drawn towards a quote from the much loved preacher Billy Graham who passed away just a few weeks ago.

He said, “The resurrection of Christ changed the midnight of bereavement into a sunrise of reunion; it changed the midnight of disappointment into a sunrise of joy; it changed the midnight of fear to a sunrise of peace.”

Can you remember the story of David and Goliath? Goliath was a Philistine warrior destined for victory over the Israelite army.

Goliath said, “Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” – 1 Samuel 17:8-9

The Israelites were petrified of Goliath and too scared to enter into battle. Then steps up David, a shepherd boy, who was willing to trust that God has his back, David believed that if he trusted God he would have the victory. We know how the story ends, with one pebble David knocks down Goliath giving the Israelite army the victory. Overnight, the Israelite army were transformed from being an army of losers into an army of winners.

The Easter story holds that same message, as Billy Graham points out, Jesus’ resurrection meant that overnight His followers were transformed from being a bunch of bereaved, disappointed, full of fear losers, into an army of winners full of joy and peace.

This is the message for you this Easter, without the resurrection of Jesus there is no hope for us. We need to place our trust in God, as David did. If you embrace Jesus’ sacrificial love displayed in his life, death and resurrection, I promise that you will receive joy, peace and new life.


Join The Chatterboxes in Bournemouth Square on Thursday 29 March to help us celebrate World Autism Awareness Week

On Thursday 29 March from 11am-4pm, local youth action project The Chatterboxes (part of YMCA Bournemouth) will be holding an event in Bournemouth Square to raise awareness of autism. The event is timed to coincide with World Autism Awareness Week (26 March – 2 April).

Organised by local young people who are passionate about the issue, the event will provide a space where people can learn more about autism in a fun environment. There will be activities for all the family, from interactive games to an art workshop to celebrate individuality, plus professional advice and support.

Visitors to the event will be able to:

  • Find out the facts about autism
  • Test their existing knowledge through interactive games and activities
  • Celebrate their differences and what makes them unique
  • Get advice about where to go if they need support

Learn more about the Chatterbox Project and what we are doing to ensure young people with autism are heard in our community

What is autism?

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability which affects how people see the world and how they communicate with other people. Approximately 700,000 people in the UK are estimated to be on the autistic spectrum, around 1 in 100 of the population.


YMCA Bournemouth supports body image campaign after research shows half of young people are bullied about their looks

bullying statistic
We have thrown our support behind the Be Real Campaign after new YMCA research revealed today that half of young people have been bullied about the way they look, with two fifths of those experiencing this bullying at least once a week.

Most of the bullying focuses on weight and body shape, with 60% of young people admitting they tried to change their appearance after being bullied and 24% said they reduced the amount they ate or went on a diet. In some cases the effect was more severe with one in ten of those being bullied about their looks having suicidal thoughts and 9% saying they self-harmed as a result.

The research was done by YMCA England & Wales, which spoke to more than 1,000 young people aged 11 to 16 years old as part of its new report ‘In Your Face’, which is part of the charity’s Be Real Campaign with Dove.

Highlighting the devastating effects appearance-based bullying has on young people, the research also revealed that, contrary to popular belief, most young people experience this bullying in person (72%) and not online. A staggering 80% of those getting bullied about the way they look do so in school or college.

We run a wide range of services across Dorset and had an average of 317 young people accessing our youth projects every week during 2017 and 1118 families using our children centres in the same year. We are urging local schools to be at the forefront in tackling body image anxiety. It’s calling on schools to become a Be Real School by using the campaign’s free Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools, which has already been downloaded by over 700 schools and colleges.

Jackie Weeden, YMCA Bournemouth Executive Director, says:

“Bullying has always existed among young people, but this generation face increasing pressure to live up to unrealistic beauty ideals which they say come from celebrities, social media and the media.

“It’s crucial that we teach young people how to feel comfortable in their own body and that looking different isn’t a bad thing. Educating young people about the effects of bullying alongside body confidence will help to tackle this issue where it’s most prevalent, schools.

“We know from previous research that young people who have learned about body confidence at school feel better about their bodies. We want schools in the local area to use the Be Real Campaign’s Body Confidence Campaign Toolkit for Schools to help their pupils navigate this image obsessed society we live in.”

Michelle, a young person from our Chatterbox youth action project, describes her own experience of being bullied:

“At school I felt massively isolated by my peers because I was different physically and also because I was autistic. Just because I didn’t talk the same, look the same or wear the same things, I was an outcast. They made horrible comments about my weight and how I looked. I was given a nickname and I was punched every day by someone I knew was being bullied himself.

“Four years of bullying put me in a deeper depression. I comfort ate just to feel better. I found it hard to concentrate in class and couldn’t get to sleep at night because I was anxious about the next day. At one point I had to get my hair cut short, which I hated, after people repeatedly put gum in my hair.

“Being yourself is the most important thing. People who bully you are insecure and desperate to fit in – but those groups mean very little over time. You have nothing to be ashamed of, just be you.”

Other key findings from the Be Real Campaign’s ‘In Your Face’ research include:

  • 54% of young people who experience bullying about the way they look, do so by the age of 10
  • 1 in 2 of young people reported becoming anxious as a result of being bullied about the way they look
  • 53% of young people think bullies have insecurities about themselves / their own appearance

Read the full research document here: http://bit.ly/berealresearch


Meet Ryan, the newest member of our Chaplaincy team

Our chaplaincy service exists to offer spiritual support, pastoral care and moral guidance to the organizations staff, volunteers, clients and their families.

The chaplaincy team are passionate about being available to support people no matter what their background or circumstance.

If you would like to speak to someone on the chaplaincy team please contact Jez by telephone 07557088564 or by e-mail jez.dupuy@ymcabournemouth.org.uk



“The official numbers are just the tip of the iceberg,” says YMCA as England rough sleeping statistics released

fundraising for the homeless in bournemouth

New Government figures released on January 25th, 2018 show that:

• 4,751 rough sleepers were counted in Autumn 2017 (up 15% on 2016)

• 8% (373) of these were under 25 years old

• The number of rough sleepers is up 269% since 2010 (1,768 rough sleepers counted in Autumn 2010).

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive for YMCA England & Wales, said:

“The rise in those rough sleeping is by no means a surprise for professionals working in the sector. For years we have warned that rough sleeping is a crisis in the making. We know from working with 18,000 people experiencing homelessness each year that the official numbers are just the tip of the iceberg and that there are many more people who have no other choice but to sleep rough on streets across the country.

“We hope at some point these shocking figures will be the wake up call government needs to realise that rough sleeping is a national crisis it can no longer ignore and that we urgently need practical support to help end it.”

In Bournemouth, the number of people bedding down on our streets has gone up by 300 per cent since 2010, when 12 were recorded. The 2017 count found 48 rough sleepers, up from 39 last year.

If you would like to help us combat homeless in the Bournemouth area please contact us at fundraising@ymcabournemouth.org.uk or sign up for details of our fundraising and volunteering events here



Prezzies for Rezzies: could you bring a smile to someone’s face this Christmas?

How many presents do you expect to get this Christmas? Some people won’t expect any.

Many YMCA residents have no social connections, some are not invited home for Christmas and for others, home is a stark reminder of an abusive past. Please help us change that!

You can do so by donating presents to our supported housing residents. Present ideas include toiletry items, puzzles, art materials, sweets and warm clothing for the winter (no alcohol please). Please click on the image for more information.

We have collection points for UNWRAPPED gifts at:

– YMCA Bournemouth, 56 Westover Road BH1 2BS
– Southbourne Childrens’ Centre, 108 Stourvale Road, BH6 5JB
– The Junction Leisure Centre, Broadstone BH18 8AX

For further information please contact Tess on 01202 290451

Thank you so much for your generous support!


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