As a local YMCA, we fully support the Vision of the YMCA Federation, which is “of an inclusive Christian movement transforming communities so that all young people can belong, contribute and thrive.”
As an inclusive Christian charity, YMCA Exeter is:
- Christian: We are inspired by the example of Jesus Christ, and motivated by our shared experience of God’s love and his transforming work in our own lives.
- Inclusive: We believe that every person is hugely valuable, so ensure our services are welcoming to all wherever possible. We are grateful for the partnership and help of people and organisations who support what we do regardless of whether they share our faith motivation.
Our Vision: is to see communities transformed into places characterised by love, joy, peace and hope where all young people can become everything they were created to be.
Our Mission: is to demonstrate Christ’s love through practical service that empowers young people and their communities to flourish.
The way we act at YMCA is characterised by five strong and distinctive values:
- We seek out: We actively look for opportunities to make a transformative impact on young lives in the communities where we work, and believe that every person is of
- We welcome: We offer people the space they need to feel secure, respected, heard and valued; and we always protect, trust, hope and persevere.
- We inspire: We strive to inspire each person we meet to nurture their body, mind and spirit and to realise their full potential in all they do.
- We speak out: We stand up for young people, speak out on issues that affect their lives and help them to find confidence in their own voice.
- We serve others: We are committed to the wellbeing of the communities we serve and believe in the positive benefit of participation, locally and in the wider world.
At YMCA Exeter, we seek to model our lives and work on Christ’s life and his words, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbour as yourself.” This means the following principles characterise all we do:
- Faith: We believe God deeply cares about us, our work and those we serve, so we trust him and prayerfully seek his help in all we do.
- Courage: We will do all we can in God’s strength, challenging injustice and overcoming obstacles to bring positive change in the communities we serve.
- Excellence: We will seek to provide the best possible service in every aspect of our work.
- Service: We want the way we treat our clients and the way we behave towards each other to be characterised by an attitude of compassion and service.
- Integrity: We are committed to truthfulness, honesty, transparency and accountability in everything we do
Being a teenager isn’t easy and to develop a sense of identity and belonging, inclusive, exciting and engaging activities are vital. From teaching teenagers how to cook to playing team sports and residentials, our team support teenagers who often are worried about exams, concerned about social media, or just need a trusted adult to talk to.
Our residential centres provide accommodation to young people who are at risk of, or experiencing, homelessness. In addition to accommodation, every resident also receives tailored support so they are ready for independent living. The areas of support include: managing money, personal hygiene, tackling addiction, physical & sexual health, managing disabilities and respecting others.
Our young people repeatedly tell us that they do not feel prepared enough for work, which can often be exacerbated by them just not knowing where to start in looking. To help address this, as well as enabling young people to build their self-confidence, we have designed a workshop based programme giving young people practical employment advice as well as opportunities to put their learning into practice by delivering their own pop-up, micro, enterprises.
Our work with ex-offenders empowers, educates and mentors young men who are caught up in the Criminal Justice System, encouraging them to make positive life choices and lead crime free futures. We believe in restoration through relationship and our support to ex-offenders recognises each of their God given potential.
Each of our weekly Healthy Living, Creative Arts and Pastoral Care groups are ‘Christ centred and Christ empowered’. From experiencing freedom from negative habits to getting residents connected within a local church, our health and wellbeing activities enable young people to engage with Christianity in a positive and inclusive way.