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YMCA Birmingham is named ‘runner up’ at national youth charity awards

November 7, 2016

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YMCA Birmingham has been named runner up at a prestigious national youth charity awards after reaching this year’s glittering finals.

The organisation was up for the YMCA of the Year gong against two other YMCA charities at the annual YMCA Youth Matters Awards held at the exclusive central London venue, 8 Northumberland Avenue on 4 November and hosted by TV presenter June Sarpong MBE.

YMCA Birmingham was judged a worthy finalist for their exemplary work with young people at their new development over in Erdington. The culmination of the 10 year project which was officially opened by the Princess Royal earlier this year in May, proved that hard work and determination triumphs.

After losing 30% of their funding in 2009 and in 2013, when trustees reluctantly took the decision to close the Youth and Community Department following heavy losses and continued reductions in youth work funding, the organisation decided to reinvent their business model. Now their focus is no longer just on government income, but on generating their own resources through social enterprises offering education, training, volunteering, and employment opportunities on site to young people and the local community.

It had previously battled through a public vote to get to finals night. The charity came up agonisingly short as YMCA Maidstone won the award.

Youth Matters is the YMCA federation’s national awards programme that has been an integral part of the charity’s calendar since 2009. Other categories in the awards this year are Young Achiever of the Year, Young Leader of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Young Worker of the Year.

Alan Fraser, Chief Executive of YMCA Birmingham, said:

“If there’s one award we would have been most proud to win it would be YMCA of the Year at this year’s Youth Matters 2016. Unfortunately, it was not to be but we are still proud to have made it this far and to have even been nominated for such an honour.

“Thank you to everyone in the community who supported us; YMCA Birmingham wouldn’t be the same without the help. Also, congratulations to YMCA Maidstone who won on the night.”

Youth Matters is YMCA’s national awards ceremony which celebrates the outstanding skills and achievements of young people from across the country. It also recognises the vital work that YMCA’s deliver every day to help transform the lives of young people and give them a brighter future.

The YMCA of the Year Award recognises a YMCA which has delivered in the past 12 months an innovative and inspiring local project, programme or scheme that has created a tangible and positive impact on young people and the wider community.

Locally, the charity provides, Training and professional development opportunities, an onsite nursery, supported and independent living accommodation, Eden- more than coffee a social enterprise coffee shop, including weekly activities such as slimming world, martial arts and spiritual guidance meetings which are open to the wider community as well as YMCA residents.

Read more about YMCA Birmingham at http://ymcabirmingham.org.uk/