Lani’s Story

31-year-old Lani* moved to YMCA Exeter when she was just 16, escaping an abusive home and looking for safety. Moved to action by the Council’s threats to cut YMCA Exeter’s funding, Lani shared her inspirational story of how the YMCA support team helped her overcome adversity and thrive. “I came to YMCA Exeter in 2008…



Five Steps to Wellbeing.

Winter can be a difficult time of year when moods run low and anxiety starts to take over. At YMCA Exeter we regularly encourage our young people to think about the ‘5 steps to wellbeing’ – one of these key steps is ‘give to others’. Almost three months ago, YMCA Exeter resident Jade Rowden started…



Celebrating our volunteer team of bakers

Behind the scenes, quietly working away, we have an incredible team of eight volunteer cake bakers. Every week, without fail, a delicious homemade cake and welcome card is dropped off, ready to welcome new young people arriving to live at YMCA Exter. Cathy Knowles shares why she volunteers: “Around seven years ago I was asked…



You are invited to the YMCA Exeter Christmas Service.

We would love to invite you to the YMCA Exeter Christmas Service to be held at St David’s Church Exeter on Wednesday 14th December at 12.30pm.  The service will be open to our friends, supporters, volunteers, staff and residents and our Lighthouse Café team will be serving festive refreshments in the Church once the service…



Christmas Campaigns and Events

Give the gift of sacred space this Christmas Over the last few years, 29-year-old Poppy has moved around shared and supported housing. Sometimes she had nowhere to stay and ended up sleeping in unsafe places. Chaotic and exhausting, Poppy struggled with deepening mental health issues. But since September, Poppy has begun to thrive. She is…



YMCA Gala Dinner Launches Legacy Giving Campaign.

After a break of three years, it was wonderful to be able to host the Gala Dinner evening once again. We were joined by businesses and individuals from the local community, celebrating the theme ‘Building a Legacy for Young People in Devon’. With a glass of fizz in hand and looking very glamourous, the 140 guests were…



Overcoming fears to leave a legacy

YMCA Exeter resident Kirstie tells me she does not like heights. And yet we’re standing on a platform, 25 feet above the ground wearing hard hats and safety harnesses. Kirstie and other residents have spent the week helping to renovate St Sidwell’s Church bell and tower, in its permanent home opposite YMCA Exeter’s new Sidwell…



First residents move into Sidwell Studios!

It’s been a wonderful few weeks welcoming our first residents into the newly completed, Sidwell Studios. YMCA Exeter resident, 24-year-old Owen, was the first to move in: “I don’t think it’s properly sunk in yet. There’s no way I could have afforded something like this. Not even house shares are this affordable. It only takes…



YMCA Exeter celebrates Midsummer Joy

Midsummer Joy is our random act of kindness week. And what a week we had! Our Lighthouse café ran Monday – Thursday with live music sessions from residents and staff. The sun shone and with our gazebo up and bunting fluttering, we added in some classic old-fashioned fete competitions for people to try. Splat the Rat,…