YMCA Cullompton turns 100 years old this month and with plans to expand the services offered by the YMCA in the area, there are high hopes for the future.
The doors to the former YMCA Cullompton building on Fore Street opened in August 1919, and provided space for the local young men, with facilities that included a library, boxing room, writing room and a lecture hall. Information from a local historian revealed that the building was officially opened in the presence of local dignitaries and members of the community who wanted the space to ‘feel like home’.
More recently, YMCA Dulverton Group, under whom YMCA Cullompton is a branch, have begun transforming the former residential home at Pye Corner into accommodation and a social enterprise Bed and Breakfast. The new plans for the building include 4 bedrooms of low support affordable accommodation for young people who are in training, education or employment as well as 7 bedrooms of medium support for young people who have experienced homelessness.
Martin Hodgson, CEO of YMCA Dulverton Group explained “100 years on from the opening of YMCA Cullompton and we are still working hard to create a safe and welcoming space for young people. We recognise that many people need a helping hand to get to where they want or need to be, and we are here to provide that. Our ultimate aim is for young people to become independent and contribute positively to the local community.”
He added “However our work doesn’t stop with young people, as a community organisation we support families and hope in the next few weeks to have some exciting news in how our work in Cullompton will develop in this way”
Alongside accommodation, YMCA Cullompton have begun more work to provide activities such as creative arts and cooking sessions for young people. Youth clubs now run on Monday and Thursday evenings at the John Tallack Centre and there are plans for an after school club in the works.
Huw Hides, Community Development Manager for YMCA Dulverton Group said: “This is an exciting time for YMCA Cullompton as we grow to provide a more extensive level of service in the area. We are working with the local community to offer an inclusive and supportive atmosphere, where young people truly feel they belong, which is an aim that has not changed over the past century