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YMCA Swansea is calling on the people of Swansea to give them their backing following the news that they have been shortlisted for eight, prestigious national youth awards.

VOTE NOW: https://www.ymca.org.uk/about/awards

Our Support Worker Carlie, picked up the Young Worker of the Year award in 2016!

The young people’s charity, which celebrates its 150th birthday next year, is on course to win YMCA of the Year and several other top accolades at the Youth Matters Awards 2017, but must first battle it out in an online vote against four other YMCAs.

The three YMCAs with the most votes will make it through to the awards ceremony and judges panel in London later this autumn, which is to be hosted by Sky presenter and BBC’s The Apprentice winner, Michelle Dewberry.

Voting starts online at 2pm on Monday 14 August and runs until midnight on Friday 25 August. You can vote for YMCA Swansea HERE in a number of categories, including YMCA of the Year, Young Achiever of the Year, Young Campaigner of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Young Worker of the Year.

YMCA Swansea Chief executive Anne-Marie Rogan commented: “We are thrilled and overwhelmed to be nominated for so many prestigious awards and hope that everyone in the local community will vote for us.

“Young people are at the heart of everything we do, and these nominations are recognition of the hard work, commitment and passion shown by everyone at YMCA Swansea to make a difference to young people’s lives.”

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

YMCA Swansea’s full list of nominations is as follows: YMCA of the Year; Young Achiever (Sophia Zahra); Young Worker (Geraint Turner); Young Leader (Kit Barry); Young Campaigner (Gabe Cole); Best Project (YMCA Swansea Recording Studio); Best Project (YMCA Swansea Young Carers Project); and Young Volunteer (Taylor Roberts).

You can vote for YMCA Swansea HERE. There are also links on how to vote on YMCA Swansea’s Facebook and Twitter pages @ymcaswansea. Make sure to include the hashtag #YMA17


YMCA Swansea to host its first LGBT Pride Prom

YMCA Swansea will host its first LGBT Pride Prom this Friday 21st July at the theatre based in the YMCA building on The Kingsway.

The event takes place between 6 and 9pm and is free to young people between the ages of 14 and 25 who identify as LGBT.

There will be live music from local bands and musicians, including the very talented Daisy White. There will also be a number of awards up for grabs on the night, such as the Unicorn Award, which recognises a person who has reached a particular milestone in their life, overcoming adversity to achieve great things.

The Pride Prom has been organised by Natalie Hussey and Gabe Cole, two young people who regularly volunteer at YMCA Swansea and are both very active in supporting LGBT rights.

Natalie Hussey said: “We want Pride Prom to be an event that unites the LGBT community in Swansea, and celebrates individuality and individual success.

“It’s going to be a fantastic evening of music, food and glitz celebrating LGBT youth in Wales. It’s free to attend and people are encouraged to dress as they feel and be who they are.”

LGBT people between the ages of 14 – 25, who would like to attend Pride Prom, are encouraged to register their interest on eventbrite.co.uk


Welsh partnership joins pioneering programme to help Wales’s most disadvantaged young people to develop life changing digital skills

Almost £100,000 awarded to the Wales Co-operative Centre, YMCA Swansea, Llamau and GISDA as part of Nominet Trust’s Digital Reach programme

Nominet Trust has awarded almost £100,000 to a partnership of four organisations, Wales Co-operative Centre, YMCA Swansea, Llamau and GISDA, as part of its Digital Reach programme – a pioneering initiative developed to increase digital skills amongst some of the UK’s most disadvantaged young people.

The funding will be used to deliver My Digital Life, a project which will support some of the most disadvantaged and ‘hard to reach’ young people across Wales. It will work alongside them to improve their digital skills, confidence and self-esteem, using approaches that chime with their interests and needs.

The 2017 Basic Digital Skills report suggests that despite an overall increase in the number of UK adults who have gained basic digital skills, at least 3% (300,000) of those aged 15-24 are still being left behind. Nominet Trust’s research indicates that it is this group that is the most likely to be facing multiple forms of disadvantage. Digital Reach has been created in response to this national challenge by reimagining digital skills delivery to the hardest to reach young people in our society.

By harnessing the expertise of the Wales Co-operative Centre, YMCA Swansea, Llamau, GISDA and other leading UK youth organisations which have longstanding and trusted relationships with the most marginalised young people, Digital Reach intends to demonstrate how these organisations are perfectly placed to steer isolated young people towards positive futures.

Nominet Trust’s funding will enable the Wales Co-operative Centre, YMCA Swansea, Llamau and GISDA to co-design and co-deliver sessions for small groups of young people which will help them develop digital skills beyond basic use of social media. Sessions could help young people to manage their money, search and apply for training and jobs, and life healthier lives.

Karen Lewis, Director of Communities and Inclusion at the Wales Co-operative Centre, stated:

“The Wales Co-operative Centre welcomes the prospect of working with both our partners in Wales and the Nominet Trust to meet this challenge and begin to make an impact in this critical area of work. This is a fantastic opportunity to work with vulnerable young people to help them become more digitally confident and develop their understanding of the opportunities that the Internet offers them.”

Vicki Hearn, Director, Nominet Trust, said:

“Nominet Trust is delighted to be supporting this joint initiative involving the Wales Co-operative Centre, YMCA Swansea, Llamau and GISDA. Digital Reach funding will enable them to reach out to 375 of the hardest to reach young people across Wales, offering the opportunity to gain crucial digital skills as an integral part of their life skills programmes. We believe this pilot will demonstrate the potential of this approach to achieve impact at scale.”

My Digital Life is one of six initiatives (involving twelve different organisations) chosen by Nominet Trust after a rigorous selection process to be involved in developing and implementing pilots over the next nine months. The other participants are: Action for Children; Carers Trust; Home-Start and #techmums; The Children’s Society and City & Guilds Group; and UK Youth. In total, the pilots will initially aim to engage with 4,000 of those on the wrong side of the digital divide; the effectiveness of models to scale will also be evaluated, allowing more young people to be reached in the future.




YMCA Swansea trustee wins top accolade

YMCA Swansea Deputy Chair Trustee, Phil Treseder, picked up a top accolade at the Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards in Cardiff recently.

Phil received the ‘Trustee of the Year’ award for his outstanding commitment and the impact he has made to YMCA Swansea during the past ten years.

The Wales Volunteer of the Year Awards were set up by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action in 2004 to shine the spotlight on the incredible people in Wales who help their communities in all sorts of remarkable ways.

Phil’s extensive experience in the youth work and children’s rights sector, led him to taking up the role of Chair Trustee at YMCA Swansea in 2007. Since then Phil has worked one full day a week, every week at YMCA, whilst balancing a career at Swansea Museum and working as a funding consultant.

During recent economically difficult times, Phil’s skills and knowledge have been fundamental in winning funding applications to establish new projects. This has ensured that YMCA Swansea continues to support the most vulnerable community groups.

In 2016, YMCA Swansea were winners in the Youth Work Excellence Awards and WCVA’s Best Governance Awards, both of which would not have been possible without Phil’s infinite support and mentoring.

His passion for giving young people a voice has often seen Phil running young people’s consultation events at YMCA Swansea, tackling a range of issues.

YMCA Swansea Chief Executive Officer, Anne-Marie Rogan, said: “We are delighted for Phil as this award is true recognition for everything he has done for YMCA Swansea.

“With Phil’s leadership and support, we are the first YMCA in Wales that has built a Pan-Wales portfolio of projects and has participated in European and global youth projects.

“Our services at YMCA Swansea are increasing each and every year and this is because we have volunteer trustee’s like Phil who bring innovative ideas and dedicate their time and passion into the YMCA.

“Our turnover and number of employees have grown considerably during Phil’s tenure, which means we continue to help and change the lives of more and more people each year.”

Phil has helped to attract like-minded organisations to work from the YMCA building, making it a central hub for support services in Swansea. He’s also in the process of planning a refurbishment project to ensure the longevity of the building, which has been providing support services in Swansea for 150 years.

Phil Treseder said: “I am shocked and humbled to win this award, but proud of the recognition for YMCA Swansea. I have been a trustee for ten years now, and I still continued to be inspired by the first class work undertaken by all the staff and volunteers.”


Musical Routes success for YMCA participants

A Project established by Swansea City Opera to explore and celebrate migration and cultural heritage in the city, was commemorated at an event this week at Swansea’s Waterfront Museum.

YMCA Swansea has been working alongside Swansea City Opera and many of the city’s migrants as part of the ‘Musical Routes’ project.

The event at Waterfront Museum was the culmination of a year’s work where YMCA Swansea has supported many of the city’s migrants to learn a range of musical instruments, and compose songs and music about their culture and heritage. Other organisations involved in the project include Chinese Community Co-operative Centre, Unity and Diversity, and Africa Community Centre.

Throughout the duration of the project, YMCA Swansea’s Music Youth Support Officer, Gergo Daroczi, along with volunteers Yotin Wallace and Ify Iwobi, taught participants to play instruments including piano, drums and guitar, to enable them to share ‘their story’ through their own compositions.

Participants performed their music at the event at the Waterfront Museum this week, which included melodies, rhythms and influences from their cultural heritage that have been fused together through shared experiences during the project.

One of YMCA Swansea’s participants from the Musical Routes project said: “We all had such a good time. Without this project and your help we wouldn’t have had the confidence to go on stage, but we tried our best and really want to learn more. Now we are more comfortable and happy to try new things.’’

YMCA Swansea works with the most difficult-to-engage young people in Swansea and nearby cities. The recording studio at YMCA’s Swansea base focuses on using music as an engagement tool to upskill, motivate and help young people through hard times. YMCA Swansea offers instrument tuition, vocal training, band recording and support in writing songs and forming bands.


YMCA Chief Executive shortlisted for Leader of the Year award

YMCA Swansea’s Chief Executive Officer, Anne-Marie Rogan, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Womenspire Awards 2017.

Established by Chwarae Teg, Wales’ leading gender equality charity, the Womenspire Awards recognises women for every aspect of life, from personal achievements to outstanding contribution. They showcase the remarkable accomplishments of women across Wales, with the aim of inspiring future generations.

Anne-Marie has been shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Leader of the Year’ category for her outstanding work with YMCA Swansea. The awards ceremony will take place at Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff, on Wednesday June 21st 2017.

Anne-Marie said: “I am thrilled to be a finalist in the Womenspire Awards 2017 alongside many fabulous, inspiring women from across Wales.”

There are thirteen award categories, which include Champion of the Year; Leader of the Year; Game Changer of the Year; Woman in the Creative Sector; Rising Star; Community Activist of the Year; Woman in the Rural Economy; Woman in Business/Enterprise; STEM/pioneer; Woman in Education; Learner of the Year; Man of the Year; Employer of the Year.

Tickets for the awards ceremony on Wednesday 21st June can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/2pvLjpa


YMCA Swansea Volunteer & LGBT Advocate Wins Young Person of the Year, UK Youth Award

Sol Campbell, Nigel Mansell CBE and The Minister of Civil Society joined the high-profile judging panel to select the winner of this years UK Youth Awards this week. Gabriel Cole, aged 21 from Swansea was awarded the prestigious Young Person of the Year Award. Gabe, an LBGT+ and hate crime awareness advocate has overcome his own gender and sexuality challenges to now support and inspire others to be strong, independent, and brave. The finalists were invited to an exclusive reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by UK Youth’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal. Gabe was also awarded grant funding and mentoring to continue his positive journey.


YMCA Swansea recognises Inspirational Members, Past and Present

On Friday, 25th November YMCA Swansea honoured the late David Thomas Hopkins by erecting a plaque at the YMCA building. David was an Honorary Life Member of YMCA Swansea for 50 years, having bought international recognition to the organisation in both football and cricket. David sadly passed away last June and the family and YMCA wanted to recognise the contribution he made by erecting a memorial.


YMCA Swansea supports Body Image Pledge to help people be confident in their skin

Businesses urged to pledge to make a difference to body confidence

YMCA Swansea has signed up to a new Pledge released today that aims to increase body confidence across the UK and urge industries to reflect real people in their work.


Young Persons Champion from YMCA Swansea celebrates win at national youth charity awards

An inspiring young person from YMCA Swansea, Carlie Torlop, has beaten off competition to be crowned Young Worker of the Year at the charity’s national youth awards last Friday night, 4th November. There was further cause for celebration as the organisation was also a finalist in two other categories, the prestigious ‘YMCA of the Year Award’ and Ashleigh Cullen was recognised for her inspirational work as a ‘Young Leader’.


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