“I think YMCA are the most amazing thing ever and it’s been really good working with them. My manager has been flexible and understanding, fitting my hours around university. It’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to work and I love it”

“I feel privileged and amazed that I’m in this seat,” Danny said. “My life is a testimony that just because you started in a place of little opportunity doesn’t mean you have to stay there. We say YMCA is a life chances agency. We work with young people and develop them to be the bext they can be.”

“I didn’t really know what to do after school,” Melanie said. “Continuing on with education really helped me. I want to show other people it can be done. If you don’t have GCSE’s, it’s not the end of the world. You can still go on and achieve.”

“I studied Forensic Investigation at Staffordshire University and did really well, getting a first class honours,” Tom explained. “By the time I finished, I’d got a bit bored of essay writing, and was looking for something more active. My mum told me about a job at YMCA working with young people and doing sporting activities and I went for it. I really enjoy what I do. YMCA work environment is really friendly and I love the sporting element of my job.”

“Since I started working YMCA Café, when I was 16, I’ve picked up things from different people, learned on the job, got advice from management,” he said. “YMCA feels like a family and I’ve learned so much from them. Now they’re providing a lot of support while I’m doing my degree and I’m hoping it will help me progress.”

“Ever since I started working with YMCA and NCS I’ve had a brilliant time. I’ve really enjoyed meeting and working with so many young people and to see the journey they take while on programme is hugely inspiring. YMCA is a great place to work and the staff are so supportive in helping out and aiding us in creating amazing experiences for young people.”