17 October 2019

YMCA YAC (Youth Advice Centre) in Crawley was officially launched on 10 October with a showcase event, also marking World Mental Health Day and the relaunch of the newly renovated YMCA Crawley Foyer.

With the sun shining, Crawley Mayor and Mayoress Raj and Bhavna Sharma, along with guests from our local community, joined residents, former residents and staff to enjoy what turned out to be a fantastic day, full of workshops, activities and even an October BBQ!

Local stakeholders Jace Training, Crawley College, Relate, Find it Out, Employ Crawley and West Sussex Community Mental Health Liaison Service had stalls providing information regarding their services. Members of Diverse Crawley helped us to celebrate Black History month, delivering a Cultural Kitchen cookery demonstration, featuring poetry and stories with flavours of the Chagos Islands for us all to try. After the light lunch, guests were invited to take part in a Mindful Movement exercise class, while residents supported tours of the facilities and chatted with guests about the support and opportunities YMCA Crawley offers to young people in the area.

The young people supported the delivery of a music workshop, showed people our new tranquility garden- complete with water feature and bird houses nestled among the trees and cooked on the BBQ, serving burgers and bangers to the many guests with energy and enthusiasm.

The day also allowed us to build stronger partnerships with services willing to offer weekly training and support sessions in house at YMCA Crawley Foyer, as well as raising £139.50 through donations, a Tombola and a Raffle, with a range of fabulous prizes donated by staff members and local businesses.

“It was wonderful to hear and see residents talking proudly about where they live and what is provided for them to help them reach their full potential and to see the services our local community provides to support them,” said Sharon Rawcliffe, Deputy Manager of YMCA Crawley Foyer.

“The day was a complete success and it really was great to see so many people attending, taking part in activities, enjoying themselves and chatting together. It was particularly good to see a few ex-residents come along to say hello and see how things have progressed,” added Lee Scott, Programme Coordinator.

Mayor Raj is also keen to support us further and has agreed to do a sponsored skydive in March 2020 to raise money for YMCA Crawley. He has persuaded Sharon to join him!

YMCA Crawley Foyer and YMCA YAC in Crawley would like to say a huge thank you to all who helped make this day such a success, along with a very special thank you to Beauty Secrets, Horsham, Handcross Butchers, Grange Farm, Turners Hill, The Hawth Theatre, Jimmy Chop Chop and New House Farm, Horsham for their generous donations to the Raffle and to New Street Butchers, Horsham for providing the Bangers & Burgers at such a wonderfully discounted rate.