Natalie’s Story

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YMCA Exeter resident, Natalie Overson was 16 years old when she staged a sleep-in with fellow youth, determined to keep their youth centre in Okehampton open. “When we heard our youth centre was going to be shut, we couldn’t believe it. There was no way we were going to let it happen,” explains 23-year-old Natalie…

Christmas at YMCA Exeter

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Residents treated to an early Christmas tradition   Opening their front doors on 6th December, each of our residents discovered they’d been treated to gifts from St Nicholas – famous for his kindness – and traditionally celebrated by children across parts of Europe.   The surprise gifts were thanks to the hard work of our German intern,…

YMCA Exeter 175th Anniversary Service at Exeter Cathedral

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Over 80 guests, YMCA Exeter residents, staff and friends from the past and present joined us at our Service of Thanksgiving in Exeter Cathedral on Sunday 7th November. We celebrated together, sharing the evening with our President, the Rt Rev’d Robert Atwell, Bishop of Exeter, the 175 years of working in the city and local…

The Big Bake Cake Sale

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Our October half-term fundraiser saw some fantastic bake sales take place across the city in support of YMCA Exeter’s work with local young people. A few highlights of the week were our friends at Exeter City Living raising an incredible £184 at their staff team social event. Local Estate Agents, Wilkinson Grant, kindly contributed a…

Black History Month: A Statement by Mwaka Chulu

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Looking Back to Build Forward History is a fascinating subject. It is made up of the stories we tell about our past and present.  It can be told from differing perspectives depending on who is telling the story because it is influenced by the ‘lens’ of the narrator. We often tell and hear stories from…

“You have to look back to look forward”

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“Moments to pause and reflect are often elusive in our fast-paced busy lives, yet when we are intentional in stopping we are reminded of the huge blessings that surround us and the incredible hurdles God has already overcome. This isn’t a 21st-century issue, however. Many times in the Bible we read of God’s own people…

“I never knew my personality could be like a magnet to people”

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Our amazing staff at YMCA Exeter work quietly behind the scenes, helping each young person to access the support they need and begin a journey of recovery. It’s rarely straightforward, but a gradual process of tiny steps forward. Jamie’s story of transformation is a wonderful reminder of how each staff member is essential for the…

“I really thought I might end up homeless… but now it’s wonderful to feel safe and secure”

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A couple of weeks ago I spoke to Emma*. As she bravely shared her story with me, it was a fresh reminder of why young people urgently need access to safe and affordable accommodation. This month we’re celebrating raising over £200,000 towards the Sidwell Studios build. Emma’s story is a stark reminder of why the new development…

Captain Tom 100 challenge inspires local people to raise money for YMCA Exeter

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May bank-holiday weekend saw people from across Devon taking part in the Captain Tom 100 challenge to raise vital funds for YMCA Exeter’s work with local, young people.   From skating 100 laps of the Heavitree skatepark, to litter picking 100 pieces of litter around St David’s Hill, local people used their imagination and rose to the challenge.  …