Latest News | 15 November 2021

YMCA Derbyshire scoops national award for Covid response

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Staff, volunteers, residents and students from YMCA Derbyshire, who went above and beyond during the coronavirus pandemic, are celebrating after scooping a national award.

It won the COVID Community Impact Award at the youth charity’s national Youth Matters Awards, which recently took place in London.

YMCA Derbyshire triumphed over strong competition from other YMCAs across England and Wales during shortlisting, a public vote and a final decision by judges.

It was praised for regularly adapting its services to meet the ever-changing and increased needs of young people and communities during the height of the pandemic.

This included creating more than 1,000 emergency food parcels for individuals and families in need, as well as cooking and delivering more than 200 warm meals a month for those who could not buy fresh produce because of poor mental health, isolating or due to financial difficulties.

When Covid hit, YMCA Derbyshire shifted its services online almost overnight.

It created online platforms for young people and communities to come together, hosting regular online community meals, quiz nights, coffee mornings and delivered its therapeutic counselling to those experiencing acute need online, to ensure no-one felt alone.

Gillian Sewell, chief executive of YMCA Derbyshire, said: “We were absolutely over the moon to take home the COVID Community Impact Award.

“Our team has worked incredibly hard to support our young people and community through an exceptionally difficult time, and I could not be prouder of everything they have delivered and achieved.

“Thank you so much to everyone in the community who supported us – we couldn’t have won this without you, you are all part of the YMCA family.”

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