National YMCA exhibition comes to Grimsby

The YMCA’s 175th Anniversary Roadshow is in Grimsby next week, and you’re invited to attend.

If you’ve ever wondered what the YMCA really does, this is your chance to find out….

To mark its landmark 175th anniversary this year, YMCA England & Wales launched a major heritage project.  Made possible by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant, and launched from the Houses of Parliament in June, the roadshow is travelling to 10 locations across the UK – including Grimsby.

The roadshow has been produced by young people themselves.  They worked jointly with 10 local YMCAs, plus Birmingham University.  The project has unearthed new materials relating to YMCA as well as developed skills and enhanced the wellbeing of the young people involved.  YMCA Humber was one of the 10 partner YMCAs

The roadshow arrives Grimsby’s Central Hall on Monday 9th September.  It’ll stay at the Duncombe Street venue for 4 days.  Different types of groups, such as schools and community groups have been invited each day.  You are invited to drop in on Thursday 12th September between 10am and 7pm.

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England & Wales, said:

Over the past 175 years, YMCA has impacted upon the lives of millions of people across the UK. Our Anniversary Roadshow will be the first time we have brought together our rich heritage and history in one place for the public to see.

Showcasing stories such as our support during the First and Second World Wars, inventing basketball and volleyball, and our work with the United Nations alongside brand new tales from local YMCAs will bring this exhibition, and the history of YMCA, to life in an exciting way.

Supporting young people is at the core of what YMCA believes and through this roadshow 40 young people have been trained in multiple aspects of the project including oral history training, facilitating local heritage sessions, and undertaking local research.  

YMCA is a global organisation but it is deeply rooted in the communities it supports.  This is evident in the roadshow, as the 10 partner YMCAs – including YMCA Humber – are delivering the exhibition in their local areas drawing on local stories for inclusion and engaging young people in their delivery.

Debbie Cook, Chief Executive of YMCA Humber, said:

I am so excited that Grimsby has been chosen as 1 of only 10 locations to receive this Exhibition. It really is going to be great and we’re keen for as many people to see it, touch it, feel it as possible.We have chosen the Central Hall, just off Freeman Street as the perfect venue.At the exhibition we’ll also be showcasing local YMCA history dating back to 1882 and our exciting plans for YMCA Humber’s future in this area.

As reported previously, YMCA Humber have exciting plans for new premises in Freeman Street as part of the Freeman Street Regeneration.  Debbie Cook adds:

Our move to Freeman Street is very much about raising aspirations for young people in the town. They will be afforded the very best accommodation, giving them a solid foundation to move forward and pursue their dreams, believing them to be possible. Our new building will be more than accommodation; it will be a community facility, with the potential to support and reconnect families.



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Mary Vickers
Mary Vickers moved to North East Lincolnshire in 2010, from the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, to become Urban and Industrial Chaplain NELincs. Made redundant in 2017, she's maintained many of her connections within the business, faith, and other local communities. She's also decided to stay here rather than return to either the south or her husband's native Yorkshire, so that she can continue to enjoy and help promote the positives of NELincs.

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