YMCA North Tyneside, based in North Shields, has recently been awarded Â£425,014Â by Big Lottery Fund from their Reaching Communities grant programme, toÂ redesign and modernise their existing building on Church Way in North Shields.
Founded in 1879, YMCA North Tyneside was originally known as The Borough ofÂ Tynemouth YMCA, but as popularity grew new premises were needed and afterÂ several moves YMCA moved into their purpose built building on Church Way inÂ North Shields in 1938. At that time the building was called â€œJames Knott YouthÂ Centreâ€: named after Sir James Knott, a highly successful local businessman andÂ philanthropist who contributed the vision and funds for the completion of theÂ premises. YMCA has operated out of this building on Church Way ever since.
The building has undergone substantial alterations, with a major upgrade to theÂ gym facilities for the 1,000 member YMCA Gym. As well as the redevelopment ofÂ kitchen facilities to provide a training kitchen to service a new cafe, theÂ redevelopment of community spaces to better accommodate activities such as adultÂ learning and educational courses. YMCAâ€™s renewed vision centres upon 3 key areas:Â creating opportunities for young people, increasing wellbeing and reducing socialÂ isolation.
Opportunities for young people:
The improved facilities will help YMCA createÂ more options for alternative education provision, reaching out to more youngÂ people who are not succeeding in mainstream education. YMCA will also be ableÂ help deliver independent living skills and provide training to ensure young peopleÂ will be better equipped to transition into independent living. This will includeÂ offering more young people skills and qualifications leading to education,Â employment and training.
access to community education options will help localÂ people improve their skill levels, building a more resilient and able community whoÂ are less dependent on crisis support and helping tackle poor health choices whichÂ will increase health and longevity by reducing obesity related illness and sedentaryÂ lifestyles. The newly refurbished YMCA Gym is key to this, as are tenants withinÂ YMCAâ€™s building: North Tyneside Carers, Tyneside & Northumberland Mind, andÂ North Tyneside Councilâ€™s Adult Learning Alliance.
Reducing social isolation:
The newly renovated building offers a community hubÂ where all members of the community are welcome and everyone is able to succeed.Â A place to meet and make friends, a place where people can be free of the isolationÂ that they may otherwise feel.
With the redevelopment nearing completion, YMCA is excited about the future:
Dean Titterton, CEO at YMCA North Tyneside:
â€œThis Reaching Communities grant from Big Lottery Fund has been aÂ cornerstone to the redevelopment of our Church Way building. We now lookÂ to a future where YMCA has both the desire and the facilities to achieve itsâ€™Â vision. We strive to play an increasingly larger part in the lives of local peopleÂ through the provision of training, education, accommodation, supportÂ services, gym and leisure facilities.â€
Steve Pugh, Head of Operations at YMCA North Tyneside:
â€œOur building is such an important landmark in North Shields and such anÂ important hub for the local community. Itâ€™s amazing to see it being broughtÂ up to modern day standards and now the transformation of the building isÂ almost complete, the grand opening canâ€™t come soon enoughâ€.
YMCA intends to formally acknowledge the completion of the redevelopment projectÂ with a grand opening event in June 2016. However YMCA Gym and many of theÂ facilities are already open.