I have been extremely impressed with the level of commitment & enthusiasm of the young people involved & the support from staff at the YMCA from other departments. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with everyone who was involved & look forward to another successful year ahead.
Wot Fanar, Film Maker
I have now been employed by Southend YMCA for 9 months as their film maker. My highlight of 2011 was making short animations with the young people on the Trust education
I have never had much success with the core arts, I can barley sculpt a playdough worm and I can't draw for toffee. As such I have avoided animation much like a person with a nut allergy might avoid a chocolate factory. Luckily this affliction is not one shared by the talented students of Trust that graduated this July. Guided by the crafty Luke Johnson we jumped straight into action.
To finish up we all pitched in to make a giant animation whose plan seemed to change after every frame was recorded. There was method in the madness and it can all be seen on our youtube channel now. 2011 has been a great year for me, though 2012 will beat it if I don't have to install Final Cut again! See the animations on the right hand side.
* * * * *Paul Scott, Eco Hub Manager
My highlight of 2011 was setting up the Business Enterprise Exchange. After thinking long and hard about the various business events that were on offer in the Southend area, I felt that there wasn't one that was suited to the new, young or small business entrepreneur. Most were aimed at larger businesses, some you hadto pay to join, others were trying to sell you something and all of them seemed not to meet the needs of someone who had just started their business and felt a bit isolated. BEE is aimed at helping these people to meet up, exchange information and help each other to make a success of their businesses, which in today's current economic climate is becoming increasingly difficult. I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly BEE took off, to date we have had 120 attendees over the first 4 meetings and the feedback has been very positive, with BEE members working with each other outside of the meetings. I am looking forward to continuing and expanding the event during 2012. (See the picture above)
As it's Christmas, my other, slightly festive, highlight of the year was undoubtedly the afternoon that I was in our courtyard when, what I initially thought was a very large pigeon, actually turned out to be a Red Legged Partridge, walked past me and hopped up onto one of the planters, then flew up to the roof. I thought ... "It doesn't get any better than this!" (See the picture above)
At the start of this year, Natalie Martin created an amazing piece of art work that still, nearly a year on sits outside the building, representing our ethos and eco nature. (See the picture above) * * * * *
John Levy, Housing & Facilities Manager
|John Levy and his daughter
ahead of a sponsored bike ride
they took part in together in
I wanted to let you know about a resident that has recently successfully moved on through the Southend YMCA accommodation provision.
Our work at the Southend YMCA allows us to assist many vulnerable young people, when they first arrive we are able to offer them crucial intervention support as they often arrive directly from traumatic situations. Southend YMCA support staff meet with each resident on a regular basis, offer continued support, opportunities for positive change whilst assisting them with their preparations for independent living.
Stephen's journey commenced when he first went to the local authority for assistance with housing. His family had asked him to leave home when circumstances changed and they downsized to a smaller property. Stephen left the family home and lived in a tent; he was very concerned that he would not be housed before the winter set in. For 4 months he lived in a tent by a fishing lake where he felt safer and kept warm with layers of clothing & a sleeping bag. Unfortunately, during this time he was suffering with anxiety & depression because of his circumstance and was very vulnerable living in a tent and became extremely isolated, After applying through the Access Referral Panel for supported housing the Southend YMCA interviewed him and after a short wait for a vacancy, he became a resident in September.
During his tenancy Stephen was offered our counselling service and claimed that he soon felt better for having a stable home & support from YMCA staff and he soon began looking for work. Stephen sat his CSCS card test (which is required to work 'on-site' in the construction industry), he was interviewed and given a job working for Sharpfibre Limited (a Fire Protection Company) who work closely with Southend YMCA and assist interested residents or students with work placements & equipment donations.
After rapid progression at work and with his tenancy Stephen was recommended for 'move-on' accommodation as he was managing his tenancy and finances extremely well and no longer needed support. Stephen was only with the Southend YMCA for a very short period of 6 months and achieved a great deal during this time. He continues to work very hard and successfully live independently. I am in close and constant contact with his employer and they remain impressed with Stephen's development, he is now a valued member of their team and he has future opportunities to progress further and has the option to work various parts of the UK and in Paris, France.
Stephen was an exceptional case and he rapidly grasped every opportunity available to him whilst he was at Southend YMCA. He is a polite, conscientious & very hard working lad. We are all very proud of his achievements and wish him even more success in the future.