April 19, 2012
It’s fun to work with the Bournemouth YMCA!
Nearly everyone who’s been to a wedding or school disco knows the letters ‘YMCA’, but few know what it really stands for. The 14-19 Team recently met Angela and Poppy from Bournemouth YMCA to find out more about the hard work they do to support local young people and how others can be involved.
(To make it easy to follow, I’ve put an ‘A)’ before Angela’s answers and a ‘P)’ before Poppy’s).
What’s your name and job title?
A) Angela – Next Generation Project Manager
P) Poppy – Disability Youth Volunteer Advisor
Who do you work for?
A) Next Generation (BournemouthYMCA)
P) The Chatterboxes (BournemouthYMCA)
What do they do?
A) Next Generation gives the opportunity to young people, aged 11-16, to run youth action projects across Bournemouth.
P) The Chatterboxes is a magazine youth project where young people with disabilities create a magazine for other young people with a disability in Bournemouth. Ages 11-19 years.
I thought YMCA was just about helping the homeless?
A) Nah, YMCA works with all young people who need to or just want to do stuff in the community.
P) Bournemouth YMCA helps lots of people of all ages. We have lots of youth projects, a film group, children centres, a leisure centre and other sports opportunities and so much more. Check out our website: www.bournemouthymca.org.uk.
What projects are going on at the moment?
A) TEAM is a peer support group about bullying and racism and Young Citizens runs after-school volunteering and citizenship projects.
P) The Chatterboxes is a magazine project which is designed and made by young people living in Bournemouth who have a disability, supported by Bournemouth YMCA. The Chatterboxes on Tour are peer mentors from The Chatterboxes that go into schools and youth centres to run magazine design workshops. We also have a Safe Places Scheme. This scheme is about ensuring that there are safe places within the Bournemouth area for young people with disabilities. The scheme is simple - businesses display a safe places sticker in their window and if a young person is lost, they can look for a safe place and get help.
What do people taking part get out of them?
A) FUN and new friends, good experiences and feel like they’re doing something worthwhile.
P) An awesome experience, where new friendships can be made, laughs are shared and fun is had by all.
What have been your biggest achievements to date?
A) TEAM did a big anti-bullying conference for school pupils. Young Citizens did a fashion show for breast cancer awareness. Everyone wore pink!
P) Winning NCVYS national award for the groups “Outstanding commitment to youth participation and involving young people in all aspects of decision making”.
How can I get involved?
A) You can find ‘Next Generation’ on Facebook and we’ll tell you if there’s a project happening near you!
P) Check out The Chatterboxes amazing Facebook page or go to the Bournemouth YMCA website for more details.
What else have Next Generation/Chatterboxes got planned in 2012?
A) A Kick It Out football tournament, residentials, a conference, a summer theatre project, battle of the bands…
P) Subject to funding, The Chatterboxes hope to start creating an interactive online magazine as well as continuing educating the community about disabilities.
…and what are your best tips for young people in preparing for the future?
A) Volunteer and get work experience! Get involved in the community. It will open doors for you and will improve your self-esteem and life skills. It also prepares you for independence and adulthood!
P) Get volunteering. It can change your life.