“Making a Difference! – Lurgan Retailers,

June, 2016

YMCA Serving Lurgan for 30 years

Offer to Local Retailers to Partner with us & “Make a Difference” over the next 12 months!

£10K challenge for staff and young people to support programmes over the next 12 months!!  “Your YMCA needs your help”

YMCA staff on the streets for Lurgan town week 6-9 June 2016.

During the week 6-9 June 2016 Lurgan YMCA Board have authorised 2 senior staff members to walk the streets of Lurgan and talk to local shops and retailers about helping us make a difference in the lives of hundreds of young people over the next 12 months.  Young people who would otherwise be hanging around on the streets getting into trouble, drinking alcohol or taking drugs.  Also we need support to develop our work with young people living with impairments like Autism, Downs Syndrome and other physical disabilities.  So if Hugo Dale (CEO) and Jamie Stoddart (Youth Worker) call in with you this week, be sure to take them up on the offer for your business to make a difference in your town.

(Official Identity – both workers will have ID cards).

Me June 16                    JS

 Hugo Dale (CEO)                                                              Jamie Stoddart (Youth Worker)

How you can help!

We would like you to partner with us over the following 12 months and “make a difference” this year in the lives of many young people. In doing so, you will make a valued contribution to positive change in local kids lives and support us to provide a wide range of events for local kids and families in Lurgan including:

  • Schools activities and events.
  • A 2 day, 30 mile canoes fundraising trip organised by the young people.
  • A summer “Peace Camp”, looking at good relations for 40+ youth.
  • Special needs youth adventure activities week (unique to Lurgan).
  • A summer scheme for youth who are vulnerable to risk taking.
  • A summer scheme for youth living with impairments (learning/physical).
  • A Community Family Fun day at our centre on 25 June.


To help us make our £10,00 target, we have created a “donation scale level table” and would ask you to pick one of the levels you feel your business can best support.    However, knowing you are “making a difference” to young people in Lurgan is something to be proud of too.

Donation Scale Level Certificate: Donation level:
Diamond              = £1000
Platinum              = £500
Gold                      = £300
Silver                     = £200
Bronze                  = £100
Pewter                  = £50
Nickel                     = £25

What you get out of it – In return for making a valued donation to Lurgan YMCA to support our events and funding target, you will receive:

  1. If a Diamond giver, 1 year free membership for 2 people to our indoor climbing wall; a great way to stay fit and also see what we do.
  2. If a Platinum giver, 1 year free membership for 1 person or 6 month for 2 people.
  3. Acknowledgement in the Lurgan Mail when we advertise our summer scheme & services.
  4. An invite to our Community Family Fun Day 25 June to set up a small table to market your services and show the community you’re making a difference.
  5. An A4 certificate to match the level of your donation to hand in your premises that will show customers you are making a difference in Lurgan.
  6. Your business name erected in our centre to match the level of your donation, demonstrating to our users the support we receive from local business people like you.
  7. A receipt for your donation so you can offset it against business tax.
  8. Recognition on our website over the next 12 months.
  9. Future information about how we make a difference in young people lives.
  10. A sense of standing with Lurgan YMCA to “Make a Difference” to many of the 5000+ people we serve each year.


We also have other limited large scale business advertising opportunities for outdoor signage overseeing the Tesco carpark and Millennium road areas; premium advertising locations.  I you are interested in this level of advertising space or if you would like to talk more about what we do, people we help or have questions on how best to give or support our work, please contact me at the office to arrange a meeting to discuss options further or seek clarity on anything in this letter.


I look forward to hearing from you and having you join in our success over the 12 month.


Kind Regards,



Hugo Dale


Lurgan YMCA

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New Phase 2 Launch with BBC

January, 2016

New Phase 2 BBC Children in Need Developmental Programme:

On the 4th January 2016 Lurgan YMCA launched their new Phase 2, Adventure Youth Work Development Programme.  Birthed out of Phase 1 the new work will build on tested models of practice but rise to new levels of development.

Funded by BBC Children in Need this programme will have a focus of 4 key areas:

1.  Youth Development – helping young people to make the right choices to reach their full potential for life and work.

2.  Adventure – using outdoors and other activities like canoeing, climbing, Duke of Ed award etc to develop skills, resourcefulness, resilience develop relationships, self-esteem and confidence.

3.  Work with disabilities – we have worked with Autistic youth over the past 3 years and we are increasing the numbers of youth and also engaging them in adventure projects.  We are training up our staff team currently to facilitate young people with disabilities enjoy climbing and paddlesport.

4.  Mainstream youth work – this is where we make contact with young people on the streets or youth centre, address issues on health, anti-social behavior,accredited courses, develop hobbies or sports, where they socialise with friends and have safe fun.  They also learn to cook, use cameras and go on trips and camps.

New Adventure Youth Development Worker:

Jonny & YES-10

To develop and run phase 2 of the BBC/YMCA programme a new JNC qualified youth worker, who has certification in canoeing and climbing, stated employment with us in January.  His name is Jonny Hill.  He ran programmes and training at Greenhill YMCA Outdoor Adventure Centre in Newcastle Co. Down before joining Lurgan YMCA.  Jonny is currently developing climbing programmes and a club for young people.  He will drive Duke of Ed, and has a specific role in developing activities like climbing in our indoor climbing wall with disabled youth.  He is responsible for our YES programme on Wednesday nights where most of the young people have Autism or other disability.

New Opportunities for Youth People with Learning and Physical Disabilities!

Jonny & YES-11

We are currently recruiting new young people to our YES and YES + programmes.  These programme offer safe, fun and enjoyable space for young people with disabilities to socialise with a wide range of abilities and our staff and volunteers.  They have a full programme each Wednesday night form 1900 hrs to 2100 hrs.  Also they will get to do other activities like climbing or canoeing with trained and qualified personnel.  This is a great opportunity for young people who are often isolated or excluded because of the disability.  YMCA aims to remove the barrier by focusing on a “Participation for All” approach and that includes adventure activities.

YES – 13-17 yrs

YES – 18 to 25 yrs.

Volunteers Needed Too!

Jonny & YES-12

To be able to make these programmes operate we need many volunteers.  We have 2 levels of volunteer with these programmes.  Adults and Junior leaders or Buddies as we call them.   Young Buddies are local youth who just want to do something useful, or as part of their Duke of Ed, building points for UCAS or the Millennium Award .  They get training and a great sense of achievement for giving up 2 hour per-week.  Also they have full access to other YMCA activities like youth club, camping, climbing etc.  The photo above show a couple of the Buddies socialising with an young man with Down’s Syndrome; one of our star members.  The young man in the middle of the photo has grown in social confidence since becoming a Buddy.  He has gone from being shy to a very social young man and is no longer afraid to speak to anyone who may be different from him.  He made the correct choice, he has developed good relations with people different from himself and as a result his social self-esteem and confidence in life has grown; that is what Lurgan YMCA is all about.

If you, our if you know someone who could volunteers please get in touch with us, we are ready to meet you and invite you to come see what is involved before you commit.

How to get in touch:

For YES:      Contact Jonny Hill – Ph: 028-3832 1025 –

For YES+     Contact Jamie Stoddart – Ph: 028-3832 1025 –

Call in any time or arrange with Jonny or Jamie to call up on Wednesday night.

We want to here from you, we want your child to benefit from our unique programmes or for you or them to volunteer.

If you are are a responsible adult and have a disability, but you would like to volunteer, talk to us!  It good to talk!

Jonny & YES-9

Please get in touch, we are ready to meet you and meet some of our young stars!!!



Christmas Miracle at the YMCA

December, 2015

We all love mystical tales, stories and hope for a miracle!

To celebrate the end of our phase 1 YES programme, we had an awesome Christmas party and we also had a Christmas miracle.  At this time of the year, many love the story of the greatest miracle, the baby Jesus coming to us as a gift from God, our miracle at YES, while not as significant, none the less, brought out happy smiles.  So what was it??  We had the Frozen People come to YES!  I can hear you asking why is that a miracle, well December 2015 is hailed the warmest since records began and not one of the Frozen People melted, not even one puddle on the floor, now that is a miracle!

YES 2015-14   YES 2015-17   YES 2015-16   YES 2015-15 YES 2015-13   YES 2015-12   YES 2015-11   YES 2015-10    YES 2015-8   YES 2015-7   YES 2015-6

YES is for local young people with learning or other disabilities.  It is where disabled young people can enjoy independent socialisation, form friendships and relationships and grow in confidence.  YES gives this special group of young people the opportunity to leave the isolation of home and have good fun doing arts & crafts, dancing, playing games, going on trips and dancing with characters like the Frozen People.

Arts & Crafts, a big hit!

Art & crafts is very popular with our YES youth.  It is very social, young people get to meet other mainstream youth and adult.  The interaction is more challenging for some, but it means a lot to have someone just sit with them and colour in a “Santa picture”.

YES 2015-35   YES 2015-34   YES 2015-31   YES 2015-30 YES 2015-29   YES 2015-28   YES 2015-25   YES 2015-24 YES 2015-23   YES 2015-22   YES 2015-21   YES 2015-20   YES 2015-19

There is a wide range of activities, large groups games and also games like play station, pool and computer games.  This helps the young people to socialise with focusing on how to operate the console.  It help with motor skills, communication skills and builds relationships.  Confidence and self-esteem grows week after week.

YES 2015-27   YES 2015-32   YES 2015-33   YES 2015-26

Celebrating the end!

Indeed we are celebrating the end of phase 1 of our YES programme.  The reason is we are going to launch a new phase 2 YES and YES+ programmes in January 2016.  We are going to run these programmes together: YES for 13-17 yr olds and YES 18-25 yr olds.  Thanks to BBC Children in Need we have another 3 years of funding for YES and we have recruited some new volunteers plus prioritised a staff member role to run YES+.  There will be more activities with a focus on using adventure activities with young people with learning and other disability needs.  More on that next year.  If you have a young person or know of a young person that would benefit form YES, please get in touch “now!”

Sadly we say goodbye to Katie who ran the programme for the past year.  She did and exemplary job and was loved by all.  We have learned a lot about this type of work which was piloted by Brenton our first project worker and then Kathy; both now have moved on.  The YES young people wanted to say thank you to Katie with a big cake.  However, we will see her again at YES to support our new worker who start in January; his name is Jonny.

YES 2015-29   YES 2015-3   YES 2015-2   YES 2015-5 YES 2015-4   YES 2015  Staff team of 2015  YES 2015-6


Happy Christmas to all 

The Frozen people had to leave, we were all very sad, but I am sure 2016 will have many characters come to visit our YES and YES+ programmes.  We would love to see Pudsey come to visit YES; fingers and toes crossed.  The team are a very friendly bunch, if you can colour in, sit and talk to a young person, play or run a game, then our team and the young people really would love you to contact us.  Two + hours per-week of your time will change a young person’s life, come on, why don’t you become the miracle for these lovely young people in 2016; I wait for your call.  Happy Christmas from us all.


This programme would not be possible without the support of BBC Children in Need.  Thank you!

Building self-esteem & confidence

November, 2015


The YES programme is one or our most exciting pieces of work here at Lurgan YMCA.   Each week young people with learning and other disabilities meet to play and socialise with friends they have made at YES but also to socialise with young people who don’t have disabilities, this makes the experience more normal and is beneficial for their development.


A true artist at work.

This young woman is one of our longest attending members, she joined on day one, I don’t think she has ever missed one night.  The programme is one of the most important events in her week, Wednesday is always a happy day as it is for so many.  Parents tell us that on Wednesdays their child gets up easily as they know it is YMCA YES day.  This is a life line for both the young person and the parents.

When asked in a recent parental survey, “what do you do when your child is at YES”, one parent said, “I go on a date with my husband as it is the only rest bite we have each week”.  Another parent said, “YMCA YES is my life line, it is the only time I get free to go to Tesco on my own, I just walk around looking at things without having to take care of anyone”.


Group activities build relations and social confidence.


This young woman is a regular YES participant and now junior leader who loves to climb.

YES focuses on 3 things:

1. Breaking the isolation that many disabled youth face due to limited opportunity to access mainstream youth provision and meet like minded youth as well as those without a disability.

2. Empowering young people to make the choice to participate in fun and sometimes challenging activities that builds up their self-esteem and to develop meaningful relations giving them social confidence.

3. Providing YES participants opportunity to socialise with young people who have no disabilities and do the normal stuff other youth do here at the centre.  Many of our young leaders, we call them Buddies help out on Wednesday nights.  This also develops their confidence especially when meeting people who are different from themselves.


New Developments:

Development 1:

Many of the original YES participants are now to old to attend as YES works with 13-18yrs.  Once the young person is in their 18th year they are to old to attend.  This is a real issue as telling a YES participant they can’t come back means they think they have done something bad; this would upset them for a long time.  Thankfully we have not had to do that yet.  However, unless we find 10 volunteers by January, we will not be letting about 6 young people return after Christmas.  Lurgan YMCA has dedicated a staff member (Jamie Stoddart) to oversee and run this new work called:  “YES +”.  Plus or + means, “Please Let Us Stay” and is for the 18 – 25yrs and in some cases up to 30yrs.   Also we have a local lady call Pat Douglas who has a real passion and vision for this element of the work.  That is what makes these programme special, local people wanting to serve local people, that is community at work.

So you want to help!

What age do you need to be?    16 up to 90 yrs or older if you have the energy

Skills you need:                            Be able to laugh, colour in or draw pictures, paint pictures, shoot pool, listen or dance to music, sit with a young person, able to have fun, if you can do any of these you have the skill to improve a young                                                                        person’s life.

Your reward:                                Sense of valuable service and giving something back, knowing your efforts mean a young person can leave the isolation of their bedroom and develop new skills and social confidence, training if required, meet                                                         new friends, be part of the YMCA family.

Our YES and YES+ youth needs your support, if you are willing to give us 2 1/2 hour per-week, you have the power to prevent a young disable person from feeling isolated.  You will put a big smile on their face and you will be contributing to their personal and social development.

To find out more and how you can help contact: or call 028 3832 1025

Development 2:



In January we will be extending our deliver to include more activities.  Thanks to BBC Children in Need we will be starting a new Adventure Youth Development Worker who will take our work with both YES and mainstream youth to a new level.  There will be canoeing clubs, climbing clubs, outdoor adventure and much more.  There will be a focus on development each individual and preparing them for life and work.  If you or someone you know can join these activities or you are an adult with skills to offer, get in touch with our team.  Lurgan YMCA is the only youth provider in the areas offering in-house, in the city adventure as part of the mainstream youth work.  We have our own canoes, climbing wall, climbing kit and camping kit and mobile to deliver activities anywhere.

So keep tuned in to our website for updates, but better still, call in and chat to us about your needs and interests, maybe we can help you or you can help us.

Lurgan YMCA “inspiring young people to reach their full potential”


We want to thank BBC Children in Need, Big Lottery Fund and SportNI for all their support and investing in our community, without them none of our activities would happen.


Exciting New Job at Lurgan Y – APPLICATION CLOSED

October, 2015

       Lurgan YMCA

Job opportunity


Post:    Adventure Youth Development Worker

Salary £23,032 + pension offer – 37.5hrs p/wk                             3 year fixed term post.


To deliver mainstream youth work and adventure programmes & activities to local disadvantaged youth from all communities including those with disabilities.  The post is dedicated to developing young people’s confidence to take on new challenges, make positive choices, manage good relations preparing them for adult life and work.

 PersonYou will be outgoing, energetic, approachable, love meeting and spending time with under 18 year old young people.  You will be an excellent communicator and role model, be able to develop and maintain good professional relationship with youth.  You will be a good planner and facilitator,  understanding the complexities of an interface project.   You will have excellent IT skills.  You will be JNC qualified, hold minimum BCU/UKCC level 1 coach and on a committed pathway to Level 2 or ICU equivalent, be qualified in CWA or SPA.  You will have relevant current experience over the past 3 years in delivering adventure activities and youth work within developmental models.

Full Details:  For full detail of the job and an application pack, please email


Process:  Application forms and associated documents must arrive by email not later than 1100hrs Thursday 12 November.  Interviews Tuesday 17 November 2015.

The post commences 4th January 2016


Note:  We reserve the right to adjust the criteria or use the desired criteria to support selection.

YMCA Lurgan, a registered Charity, is an equal opportunities employer.  We welcome applicants from all communities.


                   Post supported by BBC Children in Need



Climbing – Positive Choices for young people in Lurgan

October, 2015

Summer months are great for taking indoor climbers outside to climb on rock.  Over the summer we took our indoor climbing group outside to introduce them to rock climbing.

Day 1 - this was their first introductory to rock climbing and we used a quarry which provided a safe and controlled environment.

Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015         Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015

This is Tiarnan.  He is a young 16 yr old indoor climbing wall enthusiast.  He have been climbing for about 1 year and loves it.

Climbing is one of the “positive choices” Tiarnan makes which keeps him safely off the streets each week and doing something that is developing his skills.

He is part of our new youth development work and has great potential to be a climbing leader in the future.  School is not his strong point but we have demonstrated through climbing that Tiarnan is a very fast learner.  He is a visual and kinesthetic learner.

This was his first time on the rocks and it challenged him a lot.  It was what he needed to inspire him to develop more and it did just that.  He can’t wait for day 2.

Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015        Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015

Scott is 14 yrs old and enjoys climbing.  This was also his first time out on the rocks and while he is competent on indoor walls, all the extra technical kit gave him something new to focus on.

Climbing and other YMCA activities has helped him make friends and develop his social skills.  He is more willing now to talk to others he does not know.

Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015       Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015

Bethany is 15 yrs old and has learning needs.  She does not let that define her in any way.  She is a regular climber of our indoor wall.  Climbing for her is 3 things:

1.  It enables her to make a positive decision for her life to get out and do interesting and fun things that develops her abilities.

2.  She gets to make new friends and develop relationships with others who have and those who do not have learning needs.  She also attends our YES programme.

3.  It builds up her self-esteem and confidence.


Making positive choices, developing and maintaining good relations with others and building self-esteem and confidence is what Lurgan YMCA programmes are all about for all our young people.  So make a positive choice today, come and join in the fun at Lurgan YMCA.

Rock climbing day 1 intro 2015

This programme has been made possible by Big Lottery, BBC Children in Need and SportNI.




October, 2015

Winter Programme for Seniors between October and December 2015

Winter Programme for Seniors between October and December 2015

Duke of Edinburgh – Bronze Award

October, 2015

As part of Y-Time My Time, young people get the opportunity to do their Duke of Edinburgh Award which is a very well known accreditation within the UK and Ireland. These lads spent the past year completing the different stages of the Award and we treated them to a night out in Belfast.


Positive choices for Young People in Lurgan

August, 2015

Young people at Lurgan YMCA are given many opportunities to make positive choices of how to use their time over the long summer.  One such opportunity was to go rock climbing.  Adventure activities is a great way to make a positive difference in the life of a young person.  Often the education system fails to capture young people’s ability to learn and demotivates them.  No so on the rock.  To find out more click on the link below.

Click Here

Get in touch

Call us: +44 (0)28 3832 1025
Email us:
Find us: YMCA Lurgan
4 Carnegie Street
Co. Armagh
BT66 6AS
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