Helping disadvantaged young people build their future

Syrie Cox

Syrie Cox, chief executive of the Southend YMCA

I was invited by Syrie Cox to have a look at the facilities at the YMCA establishment in Ambleside Drive. Until my visit I was largely unaware of the size of the operation that is the YMCA in Southend-on-Sea.

Before escorting me around the Newlands site Syrie gave me an overview of what they do. The Newlands site has been around for two decades and is one of four sites that the YMCA have across the borough. The other sites are at St Nicholas School, Ticket House (Southend YMCA Community School) and the Eco Hub in St John’s Road. They employ about fifty people.

The YMCA is a federation of 114 charities. The Southend YMCA focuses on working with disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, from aged 11 to 25. They deliver housing, education, positive activity, health and wellbeing, and skills for employment.

In a sentence the Southend YMCA is about “helping disadvantaged young people build their future”.

I was impressed by the facilities at Newlands. These include thirty flatlets, one of which was empty and so I was able to see the accommodation provided.


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