As YMCA England gives their Associations, such as ourselves, the opportunity to purchase local accommodation, YMCAs across the country are working more closely together to keep the assets within the YMCA Federation and preserve excellent quality work.
Unfortunately, it has recently become clear that we will not be in a position to purchase the YMCA England-owned accommodation we currently occupy at the 4 Northgate End premises in Bishop’s Stortford. Together with the changing financial and political climate we have had to decide on our future direction.
After working closely with One YMCA (based in Watford) for many years, we can confirm that following a number of discussions our Trustees have formally approached One YMCA with regard to the staff and assets being taken into the One YMCA family. This also creates the opportunity for them to purchase 4 Northgate End.
There is still further information to be gathered and legal advice to be obtained before proceeding, so there are a number of challenges that could prevent this from taking place. However, as we move forward there is a positive outlook at present and we would envisage this amalgamation taking place before April 2018.
Our Board’s formal position regarding independence has always been that we should remain independent if, by doing so, we can provide a better service. Due to a combination of events occurring at the same time, our ability to remain independent is in question. We now need to take decisive action and proceed from a position of strength to protect the services to vulnerable young people well into the future. Our relationship with One YMCA has been built up over many years and is strong and mutually beneficial – a partnership where we have been able to help and trust each other. It makes strong strategic and economic sense to have a single YMCA in Hertfordshire liaising on a county-wide basis with Hertfordshire County Council and key stakeholders.
From the outset, the Board’s main concern has been that we handle the forthcoming negotiations with care for our staff and volunteers and with a professionalism that could act as a role model for other YMCAs. As we move forward we want to thank all our supporters and blog readers for their on-going commitment to our work and our residents – and to reassure you that it is very much ‘business as usual’. We will keep you updated of any significant developments and, if you have any questions, please feel free to raise them in the comments box below.