YMCA Community and Activity Village update and response to funding questions

8 October 2019

In response to funding questions

YMCA Newark and Sherwood are proud to have directly forward-funded £1.7 million into the development of the collaborative Community and Activity Village project, over 44% of the £3.8 million total so far. Our charity has been happy to exceed our initial commitment of £1.5 million to this ambitious joint initiative, in order to meet community needs. Our partners – Newark Town, Newark and Sherwood District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council and the Football Foundation, have together contributed the remaining costs so far.

This investment allowed swift response to clear community requirements for immediate football and athletics provisions. By forward funding the athletics track and 3G football pitches, we have been able to open our gates ahead of schedule – offering a new ground for Newark Town FC and RHP FC, launching our own programme of subsidised sports sessions, and providing a safe, high-specification space for over 80 community and sports groups to do what they love. 

Newark and Sherwood District Council Leader, David Lloyd, said: “This is a fantastic development for young people and families in Newark and Sherwood. It’s something to be really proud of and will benefit local people for generations to come. It’s a cause for celebration not something to pick fault with. To suggest that YMCA is not pulling its weight and not contributing financially is simply untrue. We’re pleased to partner with the YMCA and without their imagination, energy, commitment and funding, we wouldn’t have the excellent facilities that are already there let alone the exciting things still to come.”

Coming together for children, young people and families

The last few months have been a whirlwind of excitement and activity at YMCA Newark and Sherwood. Since August 30th, we have been delighted to launch a number of new community programmes at the Village and have welcomed over 75 community volunteers onto the YMCA Tall Ships Adventure.

We are thankful for every youth worker, community engagement lead, sports instructor and all our other staff for their continuous hard work on the project. Their commitment to offering incredible opportunities for young people and families are what make this project so exciting, inspiring and impactful.

As a charity, we and our partners need support to reach the ambitious goals set out in our vision for the Village, a project with a total cost of £14 million. We are exceptionally grateful for the ongoing support and partnership we have developed with organisations that share our values.

We express special thanks to everyone collaborating with us to drive healthy living, youth development and social responsibility in Newark and Sherwood. Newark and Sherwood District Council, Newark Town FC, RHP, NHS, Magnus Church of England Academy, Sport England, Notts FA, Newark College, Nottingham Trent University, Inspire, BNA Charity, Reach Newark, Newark Academy and countless others – we thank you for your collaboration on navigating everything from youth music programmes to landscaping!

Most of all, we would like to express our deepest thanks for the ongoing support from the local community. Even right now, volunteers are sailing the North Sea as part of the YMCA Tall Ships Adventure – finding their sea legs to support our charity. This Summer, Liz Hobbs Group kindly offered children, supported by the YMCA Digital youth music programme, an opening slot at Newark Festival to showcase their fantastic hard work. Thousands of responses have been shared with us in open consultations – which are still ongoing – and families are embracing our programmes, childcare and holiday clubs at every turn.

Being an ever-evolving project, a key part of this ambitious initiative’s progress is establishing positive, open dialogue with stakeholders including everyone from our existing supporters and local councillors to individuals who wish to make our community grow into something even greater. We welcome any and all engagement to shape this Village into the best version of itself it can be.

As we move through to Stage 2 of the YMCA Village, our team are working hard with charitable funders and stakeholders. We are on course (in funding and construction) to meet our Spring 2021 finishing date and are as committed as ever to delivering something positive and transformational for local people.