YMCA South Molton celebrates after £167,000 lottery boost

North Devon Gazette

Local charity, YMCA South Molton and its team of dedicated trustees and volunteers, are celebrating after being awarded £167,000 in National Lottery funding over a three-year period, to support its work in bringing people together and building strong relationships across the South Molton community.Â

The charity, based at the YMCA Centre South Molton, will use the funding to provide a hub of fun, community activities for all ages, from basketball coaching sessions, to wellbeing and educational activities.Â

YMCA South Molton has been in existence since 1890 and is part of the largest and oldest youth movement in the world.Â

The current YMCA South Molton youth club was founded in 2012 and the current Community Centre was taken over by YMCA South Molton in 2015. Inspired by the Christian faith, YMCA South Molton creates supportive, inclusive and energising communities where all ages can truly belong, contribute and thrive. Â

The centre provides the venue for a large foodbank and community larder which was set up during lockdown by the One South Molton group and was a huge source of support to people across South Molton and the wider area.Â

The community pulled together during lockdown to make all the different services possible, especially giving over 100 young people the chance to access detached work and online support.Â

Thanks to the National Lottery Community Fund, YMCA South Molton has been able to employ a new staff member, Cassandra Chan, who set up the community larder. YMCA South Molton are excited to have her join the team as the work of the charity grows and look forward to keeping the community larder running.Â

Now as lockdown has opened up, the centre is hosting a variety of face-to-face activities from a Skills Swap Coffee Stop, to fitness groups. While enjoyable, the activities help to reduce loneliness and break down barriers in the community.Â

The significant funding has also given YMCA South Molton the chance to restructure and develop the youth and children’s provision to ensure it meets the current needs of the community.Â

The new funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, which distributes money raised by National Lottery players for good causes and is the largest funder of community activity in the UK, will see these activities expand and ensure YMCA South Molton can provide consistent support to well over 500 people a year.Â

At the same time, the charity will be able to press on with plans to introduce further support to the community impacted by months of lockdown and to explore housing and training options for young people in the community.Â

Gareth Sorsby Joint CEO of YMCA Exeter Group says: "We're delighted by this news as the centre has been a huge source of support to people across South Molton during lockdown, as the venue for a large foodbank and community larder. Now we're excited to get the centre open more and provide activities and opportunities for people of all ages.Â

"Thanks to the funding we can ensure that YMCA South Molton can provide consistent support to well over 500 people a year and provide a central hub for the community."Â

To find out about community groups or how to hire the Community Centre, visit ymcasouthmolton.org.uk/community-activities