Get on Track
Young people can be some of the most vulnerable in our society. But with the right support during difficult times, they can turn things around.
Get on Track is a free, six-week mentoring programme that aims to do just that. It helps young people improve their communication skills, teamwork and health – while also giving retired athletes a chance to learn new work skills.
We created the content with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust using our knowledge of the fitness sector. And in the past year, 70% of those involved were in employment, education or training within three weeks of completing the programme.
Promoting inclusion within the fitness industry is a big passion of ours. We are always on the lookout for ways to reduce inequality.
In 2009, our training operation YMCAfit developed the InstructAbility initiative with Aspire – a national charity supporting people with spinal-cord injuries. Unemployed disabled people were trained in the skills needed to work as fitness instructors and the majority of those that completed the course went on to secure permanent employment.
The initiative also went on to win the 2014 UK Active Award for Special Populations Training Programme of the Year.
Help for Heroes
Through our work with InstructAbility in 2014 we teamed up with Help for Heroes. This UK charity does amazing work to provide better facilities for British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty.
The charity asked us to develop a training programme especially for injured soldiers looking for a new career. So we created a bespoke diploma which retrains injured soldiers as personal trainers. The course started In 2015 and has been a huge success.
Body image anxiety causes low self-esteem and depression. We wanted to do something positive to combat this, so we launched the Be Real campaign. The campaign’s goal is to bring about a change in attitudes by encouraging all of us put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.
It was started in response to the Reflections on Body Image report published by the All Party Parliamentary Group for Body Image. Chaired by MP Caroline Nokes and co-ordinated by YMCA, the campaign was founded in partnership with Dove. It is sponsored by bareMinerals, Facebook, Government Equalities Office, N Brown, New Look, Superdrug and YMCA with All Walks Beyond the Catwalk as a lead ambassador.
Let’s all spread the word and make a difference.
Set up in 1997, this exercise referral scheme for people living with HIV is now almost two decades old. As the only programme of this type in London, we take referrals from clinics, charities and local councils from all over the capital.
HIV can not only affect someone’s health, but also their confidence and wellbeing. So Positive Health is a 12-week programme which works on improving fitness, self-esteem and quality of life. When it comes to an end we offer subsidised access to our YMCA Club in London and continuous support so that exercise becomes a part of daily life.
We now have roughly 250 taking part every month – which means 250 people who are healthier, happier and more fulfilled.