October 2020 Newsletter

sue personal trainer at ymca plymouth gym
Sue celebrates more than 25 years of keeping Plymouth fit

Veteran YMCA fitness instructor, Sue Raven, was awarded her “25 Years Service” certificate at YMCA this month, recognising an incredible quarter-century of fitness instructing at our centre.

Sue joined YMCA in 1995 as a member of staff, however, she had been freelancing for 5 years prior, meaning her group exercise CV stretches an impressive 30 years.

Doing some quick maths of her time instructing, we estimate Sue has been responsible for helping Plymouth burn an incredible 34 million calories during her time as an instructor. It’s fair to say the city would be a lot less fit without her! 

Today, Sue is the Group Fitness co-ordinator at YMCA, responsible for overseeing the class schedule and ensuring that we have the best instructors at our centre. So whatever class you enjoy, you owe some small thanks to Sue. Aside from co-ordinating, you can still find Sue leading as many classes today as she did 25 years ago. So why not join Sue and book onto FightinFit, Step or BodyPump to get a workout with one of the best instructors around!   

A fantastic response to the donation appeal for our local foodbank

Adding to our bumper crop harvested from our community garden, we recently put out a call for extra food donations to give to our local foodbank that supports people in crisis.

We were overwhelmed with the fantastic response from members, students, staff and volunteers who donated a huge amount for us to pass onto Provide Devon. 

We all know that it is a particularly difficult time for many people and families right now, which only underlines the importance of these donations and the work of Provide Devon. The charity works with trusted referral agents that identify people and families who are undergoing a significant crisis or situation leading them into food poverty. One such referral agent is our Discovery College, that has intervened in situations where young people have been left homeless or in a situation where they had no access to food. Provide Devon’s assistance helps us in getting these young people what they need during those times of crisis, as well as many others who rely on them each week. Thank you for everyone’s contribution to this appeal!
Successful YMCA employability course returns to help young people not in work or education

YMCA’s Discovery College has welcomed a new cohort onto its #Futures employability programme, which equips young people with a range of skills and qualifications to help them get into employment or further education. The 10-week course includes a range of sessions in careers mentoring, business skills and woodwork.One previous participant, Albert, said: “The course helped me get out of the house and do things that I wouldn’t normally do. After finishing, I was able to find work and then go onto further study to progress to University.”The next cohort due to start in January is currently taking applications. If you are 16-19 or know a young person who may be interested you can find out more and enrol here.You can also support this programme with your shopping if you are a Co-op member. Just login to your Co-op account and select the cause, then 2% from your shopping will get donated to the project each time you scan your membership card.Click here to support

Students recognised for achievements since returning to College

With the end of our first term since lockdown, many Discovery College students have been awarded certificates to recognise their achievements after returning to the classroom. It has been a very challenging time for students after such a long break and adapting to a new way of learning. Many students have demonstrated a positive attitude to their work as well as going above and beyond in support to their peers. Deputy Head of Discovery College, Kirsten Puddephatt said: “We’re very proud of many of our students who have shown great behaviour and been outstanding in their work since returning in difficult circumstances. We are especially proud of all the students who were awarded with this recognition for going the extra mile.”Discovery College is now taking enrolments for the next academic year, to find out more about our courses visit: discoverycollege.co.uk   

From volunteer to Chief Executive – meet YMCA Plymouth’s new CEO

YMCA Plymouth has appointed a new CEO, Tom Lavis, to take the reins of the organisation at this unprecedented time. Tom will be a familiar face to many at the centre as the Head of Discovery College. Tom originally joined YMCA as a volunteer for the charity’s training department and has since helped grow it into the thriving college it is today, impacting over 2000 young people. Tom’s new role as CEO will see him further lead on the charity’s other strategic areas, in addition to education, including health and families work.

Tom said: “From a young volunteer, to becoming CEO, it’s been an amazing journey over the past 24 years and I couldn’t be prouder. I’ve had the pleasure of working with some talented and passionate YMCA people along the way too. Long may that last as we continue to develop the charity for the benefit of everyone in our local community.”
Do you have a few minutes to spare for our customer satisfaction survey? If you use this centre, we would appreciate your feedback.As a thanks, you’ll be entered into a draw to win a free £25 annual membership too!

Click here to complete survey