7 September 2020

A message from CEO, Gareth Sorsby

The unwelcome arrival of Covid-19 on our shores and the subsequent lockdown forced our hand to temporarily close our doors at YMCA South Molton back in March.

From that moment we partnered with South Molton Foodbank to prepare for the worst by turning the centre into a large foodbank storage and distribution centre ready to meet an anticipated rise in demand for emergency supplies. Our staff were directed to assist with the smooth running of the foodbank as most of the regular volunteers were deemed at greater risk due to being over 70. There was an increase in need but thankfully South Molton hasn’t seen the same infection rates as other parts of the country.

During the lockdown period we provided online support for young people and over the summer we have run socially distanced small group meet ups for young people to reconnect with us and their peers.

It is fair to say that the last 5 months have been an unsettling period for everyone, and the staff and trustees at YMCA South Molton are no exception. The sudden halt to our income from centre hire raised some serious concerns about our future, but we are thankful to the many charitable organisations who stepped in to help us with emergency funding. Each of them has ensured that YMCA South Molton remains at the heart of this community and play our part in the future of this wonderful and vibrant town. Some of those organisations we wish to thank are:

Devon Community Foundation, CAF Bank, The National Lottery, Sport England, The South West YMCA Trust Fund, YMCA England & Wales and Devon County Council.

Having now received guidance from Devon Communities Together and Sport England, as well as keeping well up to date with government advice, we are in a place where we can reopen the YMCA South Molton centre to the wider community to use once again.

To ensure we manage a Covid-19 secure environment for everyone, we have put some restrictions in place including: limiting the number of people in the building at any one time; increased cleaning and hygiene; hand sanitising stations; and guidance on running your group well whilst implementing social distancing. As we all work together to protect each other we can start to build our community connections once again.

We can’t wait to see you and welcome you back. 

If you’re considering hiring YMCA South Molton please read our Covid-19 revised hire agreement and contact us with any queries about your booking.