Clevedon YMCA celebrates 90th year

PUBLISHED: 07:55 06 July 2019

Clevedon YMCA chairman Mike Allison with volunteers at a Wednesday group. Picture: Mark Atherton

Clevedon YMCA chairman Mike Allison with volunteers at a Wednesday group. Picture: Mark Atherton

Archant

A charity will celebrate 90 years in Clevedon as it looks to expand its services.

The town's branch of the YMCA, in Marson Road, was founded in November 1929.

Although part of the wider YMCA federation, the branch is an independent registered charity, responsible for its own funding and activities.

Working closely with schools in the area and North Somerset Council, the main services provided for youngsters are an after-school café during term time, a disabled club on Wednesday evenings, and a youth club on Friday evenings, together with outreach programmes in the community and other projects as time and resources permit.

Fundraising barbecues, parties and other activities will take place throughout the year to allow the group to earn enough funds to improve its building and give more children the opportunity to benefit from its outreach work.

Chairman of the Clevedon branch, Mike Allison, said: "In step with available funding, our ambition is to grow our services so we can help more young people belong, thrive and achieve their full potential.

"In our anniversary year, we want to bring our vision to reality and be able to expand the services we provide for all our young people, and modernise our buildings, making them more accessible and user friendly for those with disabilities."

This year also marks the 175th anniversary of the founding of the YMCA by George Williams, who was born in Dulverton, Somerset.

In 1841, he went to London and, appalled by the terrible conditions there for young working men, he had a vision of places where young men living away from home could meet for Christian friendship and fellowship.

The YMCA is the oldest and largest youth charity in the world helping more than 58 million people in 119 countries, and across England and Wales there are 116 YMCA groups.

Mike added: "We are setting up a donor register so people may contribute to our work.

"Therefore, if you are able to make a donation, whether large or small, a one off or regular payment then please contact our office on 01275 878405.

"We are always looking for volunteers to assist with our youth work, so please do not hesitate to get in touch."

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