YMCA Reading founded 1846 as part of the larger YMCA movement being the 3rd oldest YMCA in the world. We currently operate in Reading, Berkshire with a 40 room accommodation unit for 16 – 25 single homeless and a mother and baby unit.
However in order to answer several needs:
Reducing reliance on central funds
Training needs for young people
Needs in the community, we have commenced 3 social enterprises under the YMCA Reading name.
Y-Build is our own building company, employing a builder and 5 apprentices, have just completed its 2nd year, it has done work from our own maintenance, to garage extensions and new build in and around the location. We are currently seeking a further 5 apprentices across the construction trades. The enterprise showed a profit in year 2, which has been funded from our own resources and fundraising.
YMCA Parkside cafe. With the generous support of Big Lottery we were able to open a community cafe, for use by our residents, NHS, Local Mental Health Hospital, Care Homes and our 2 senior citizen groups (circa 200 members), as well as visiting community and passers by. We also train an apprentice and offer volunteering, work experience and work placements to young people with Mental Health and Autisic spectrum disorders. We are 2 yrs through our Big Lottery project, and will be shortly looking for continuation funding for this project, although we are starting to show break even, but covering salaries on top of the training is sometimes difficult.
YMCA Workshop, Is a training workshop for our Local Pupil Referral Unit and other charities allowing maintenance and woodwork training for young people. They have made bird boxers, planters, completed a decking project as part of this training.