Category Archives: patrons

Christmas greetings and news

A very happy Christmas to all our clients – trainees, residents, youth club members, our 1000’s of followers [facebook, twitter, linkedin and blog], 100s of supporters, volunteers, trustees and staff and many other partner agencies.

—— >>> Please join us TODAY at one of the amazing Carol Concerts, being held in the stunning Chapel at Tonbridge School at 3 pm and 7.30 pm.  For more details and press release see free parking, tickets on the door £6, £8.

STILL LOOKING for last minute presents or cards?  Our YMCA shops have a wide range of furniture from practical to unusual, white goods, beds, clothes, our charity cards and even bags of kindling to keep the home fires burning

Looking back over 2013, there have been many challenges, difficulties and some real distress…. But this year has also been full of achievements, positive outcomes and real progress for many people, projects and the whole charity.

We have enjoyed many visits – including:

  • Greg Clark MP become our first Friend of West Kent YMCA
  • Sir Jonathan Evans, KCB  who became our first Patron, a few days after stepping down as Head of MI5
  • The Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, became our second Patron bringing his housing expertise and interest to bear.
  • The High Sheriff of Kent – Lord and Lady Colgrain.
  • HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG, GCVO accompanied by the Lord-Lieutenant of Kent, Viscount De L’Isle MBE opened Ryder House extension and refurbishment.

Many local people came to our family fun day, our supporters coffee and cake event, local consultation events or our SAY YES 2 YOUTH celebration.

Many young people have progressed in their lives – showcased by inspiring case histories in our Trustees Annual Report – released today

We have been honoured by many nominations and awards – for ethical business, volunteer of the year, apprentice of the year and recently were named as the London Learning Consortium’s Employer of the Year.

We are delighted to be part of

We hope you will journey with us in 2014 as we face many more challenges:

Kind Regards,  Rob Marsh    Chief Executive
projects, referrals, contacts, news, jobs follow our BLOG

West Kent YMCA | Helping Young People Build Their Future | Charity No 803529 |


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Join us for our SAY YES 2 YOUTH Celebration 6 – 7.30 pm on Thursday 24th October 2013 at TN2 Community Centre, Sherwoood, TN2 3LZ

Join us for our SAY YES 2 YOUTH Celebration 6 - 7.30 pm on Thursday 24th October 2013 at TN2 Community Centre, Sherwoood, TN2 3LZ

To RSVP  –  or Tel 01892 542209  |  More info

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October 17, 2013 · 7:08 pm

HRH The Duke of GloucesterRoyal Visit to West Kent YMCA
Official opening of Ryder House Refurbishment & Extension

We are delighted to be hosting a Royal Visit this week, by
    HRH The Duke of Gloucester  KG, GCVO
HRH has interests that relate to many aspects of our work.  The Duke is associated with over 150 charities and organisations.  His patronages reflect his professional and personal interests and can be grouped under the following themes:

1.  International humanitarian issues; these can be sub-divided into
(a) international development and
(b) disaster prevention and relief
2.  Health issues
3.  Social welfare, community and youth development
4.  Environmental issues and climate change
5.  Social sciences and technology
6.  Culture and the arts
7.  Heritage and the built environment
8.  Military veterans and the disabled community
9.  Armed forces

RHouse Logo COL SM


to find out more, get updates and see our press release

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October 8, 2013 · 8:27 pm

WELCOME to Rob’s latest blog and WELCOME to all our new staff, volunteers and board members.

WELCOME to our latest newsletter and WELCOME to all our new staff, volunteers and board members.

Just a few highlights:

  • David Atkin has qualified as a Tutor in Carpentry in the Horizon Project
    – Well done to David  and all who helped to train you so well!
  • Emily Hunt has become a Housing Support Worker in Ryder House – where she will continue her youth work apprenticeship!
    – Well done to Emily  and to V4C & Ryder House for giving you this great opportunity.
  • The Warehouse team are finalists in the Tunbridge Wells Love Where We Live  Award – ethical local business.  Well done!      You are also long-listed for a Santander £50,000 social development award!
  • Henry Smith charity are considering a strong V4C grant application.sayyes2youth_wkymca1.png
  • Our SAY YES! 2Youth campaign has got off to a great start!
    • A Y PARTY by Carol & David Wake
    • A Y PARTY by Dawn & David Grant
    • Olly Payne’s amazing sponsored triathlon  – nearly £1000!
    • Shortlist of 4 for Lloyds Banking Group £3000 grant –  public  voting starts soon – watch for details and well done to Roisin!
    • Some donations made by people using the Pagoda Centre
    • The NCS course sponsored leg wax [not mine!] and cake sale in Tunbridge Wells during Friday 23rd August.

We can look forward to more challenges and even more achievements!

  • Open day and opening of the RYDER HOUSE extension & refurbishment on 10th October.
  •   Our SAY YES! 2YOUTH open evening at TN2 on 24th October.
  •     Rolling out more work on DofE Awards, Juice Bars, U TURN 
  •       Recruiting younger board members – who do you suggest ?

Thank you all for your team work, making a real difference.   I hope you all find some peace, joy, fun and refreshment this summer. 

T H A N K       Y O U  !            Rob

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West Kent YMCA Blog

We can looJB_p1k back on a very challenging 3 months – appalling snow, then rain, some intensive working in every project, developing Juice Bars, a real step change in raising funds and our profile.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Launching “SAY YES! 2 Youth” a 1 year, £25,000 campaign to fund a Safe Space and Youth Opportunities during a packed VIP launch event.
  • imagesCAPN6CMXWe now have two national figures as Patrons – to champion our work. – The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff who chairs Housing Justice; and Sir Jonathan Evans who recently retired as the Head of the Security Service (MI5). They are joined by over 50 Friends of West Kent YMCA including Greg Clark MP, Jan Berry who used to chair the Police Federation, TCHG, AXA-PPP, Lloyds TSB and many others.
  • We are now a directly licensed centre for Duke of Edinburgh Awards.
  • We have several potential trustees with educational and marketing experience and professional advice on legal/property matters.
  • We beat our projected budget achieving a small surplus of £20k about 1.5% of turnover – well done all! [This year is going to be just as challenging but given good team work in every centre and project we can do it again.]

We can look forward to more challenges and even more achievements.

Our new Family FUN Day on Saturday 15th June needs maximum support and publicity . Please get involved in any way you can – don’t leave it to others.

Building ougroupr network of patrons, friends, local contacts and press coverage.

We have another year of funding for U TURN.

Thank you all for your hard work – making a difference – Rob CEO

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