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We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to YMCA Southend, who we have recently funded through our community grant fund to provide support to young people in the city.

In our recent Listening Report we spoke to more than 1500 young people about their biggest fears and what makes them feel safe. The young people from Southend identified that having trusted adults in accessible spaces, such as youth clubs, would help them feel safe in their community.

YMCA Southend is helping to provide this safe place for young people to go to in several ways. The Youth Club at the community centre in Leigh-on-Sea runs on Thursday nights from 5-8pm offering pool, table tennis and music workshops, as well as support and advice to young people on a wide range of issues.

When we visited, the children in attendance were keen to show us all the great equipment and even played the drums and guitar for us to hear how they were getting on. We took lots of photos with everyone keen to be the star of the show!

A music club has just started on a Wednesday evening for young people at the Ambleside Drive YMCA branch in Southend. This offers young people, even absolute beginners, the chance to learn a new instrument, such as drums, guitar or keyboard etc. Youth group leaders will also help young people start up their own band, learn how to write songs and record all genres of music from rock to hip hop.

YMCA Southend’s outreach team are also giving support on the streets of Southend, through detached youth work, providing assistance to young people, signposting them to services and also helping with any safeguarding issues.

Commenting on the opportunities being offered by YMCA Southend, Roger Hirst, Chair of the Violence and Vulnerability Partnership said: “Working in partnership with communities is the best way to deliver highly targeted support to the people that need it most. YMCA Southend are very experienced at providing safe spaces with trusted adults as well as innovative solutions that help give young people a better chance in life.”

To discover more about the support on offer visit YMCA Southend