As a charity and a family of colleagues, YMCA Milton Keynes are deeply concerned with the ongoing challenges faced as we move into the restart and restore phase of the pandemic. Like you, we are uncertain of how deep this virus will continue to impact our community and how long it will continue to be in our lives.
YMCA’s unique nature is particularly affected by this crisis.
Our work stretches across every aspect of the community and throughout people’s lives. We deliver support to hundreds of young people in the local area, providing a safe and secure place for them to stay, individual support for their health and well-being and the skills and confidence to be able to fulfil their true potential. We do this across all communities in Milton Keynes; every hour of every day, through the good times and the bad.
Our frontline work has been and continues to be significantly disrupted by the Coronavirus outbreak. It is affecting those people who come and go from our services as well as those individuals who depend on us as a lifeline and place to call home. We are facing a multitude of challenges in keeping our support operational, redesigning our programmes to engage our young people in meaningful activity safely, strengthening our employment based support as more of our young people face job loss and financial insecurity, whilst protecting and maintaining the health and well being of our staff and residents, and ensuring we are able to respond to the needs of our community in the long term.
We are also bracing ourselves for the financial impact of COVID-19. We have recently moved into our new home, an achievement the Milton Keynes community have been instrumental in helping us reach. This will enable us to support even more young people in Milton Keynes. However, we have done this at a time when many of our fundraising activities are postponed; our income has been directly impacted as lockdown forced us to delay the opening of our new ventures, HomeGround café, conferencing rooms and the nursery, against this backdrop YMCA’s ability to support the local community and those most vulnerable is being put to the test.
As a country we are facing an historic crisis and YMCA has considerable experience in being there when times are tough. For some of our young people social isolation is not an unfamiliar feeling, we are here to help them belong, contribute and thrive. We have been doing this in Milton Keynes for 40 years, this a testament to our commitment to the local community and something which still holds true to this the day and underpins our values as an organisation.
We believe that the Milton Keynes community needs YMCA now more than ever; the homeless young people for whom YMCA is their only sanctuary; the young people who stay with us as they start out in life and need an affordable place to stay; those facing increased anxiety at this time but still receiving our support and care.
While financially we will be tested and emotionally may become weary, our resolve will not weaken. As we support our young people and the Milton Keynes community as we start to recover from this most difficult of times, all we ask of our friends and supporters is that you do what you can to support us. Thank you to those who have helped us with ensuring our young people are fed and well with your generous donations. YMCA has been in our community for 40 years and we fully intend to be here for another 40 years.
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