14 August 2017

We firmly believe that everyone is capable of great things but to achieve them they need three things; the opportunity, the resources to be able take the opportunity and the support to make the most of it. I invite you, the reader, to reflect on your successes. Who created that opportunity, who enabled you to access the things you needed to be able to take full advantage of it and, who was there for you when it mattered? There’s a large number of young people in Newcastle who lack opportunities, have few resources and often have insufficient or inadequate support from those around them. 50% of children in Newcastle live in households below the national poverty line, 50% fail to get 5 GCSEs and half are considered overweight or obese.

YMCA Newcastle has been there for the young people of the city since 1849 and this year we supported 2,583 individuals to overcome some of their barriers to success. This report tells the story of our very busy year through numbers, pictures and words. This year represents one of significant change at YMCA Newcastle. Critical changes within the external funding climate led to the closures of our youth projects in Byker and Cowgate, along with our Alternative Education and training programmes for young people aged 11-18.

Nevertheless, our dedication to empowering young people to fulfil their true potential remains unchanged. Our youth projects in Walker and The City Centre (SPACE2…) continue to thrive. We have established two social enterprises despite the challenges we’ve faced: a community café and centre within Walker Park and Urban Mushrooms: an urban farming business. These create new opportunities and resources for young people including training, volunteering and employment as well as generating income to sustain themselves.

We couldn’t have done it without the support from charitable funders. With continued support like this from other organisations, businesses and individuals we will continue to make a significant impact for young people in our city. I hope you enjoy reading our review and if you can help us in anyway, with opportunities, resources or support, please contact us.