Central Scotland MSP Graham Simpson visited Cumbernauld's YMCA to learn more about their vast array of programmes, speak to their staff, and to learn more about how they've been coping throughout the pandemic.
Graham Simpson, Central Scotland MSP said:
"I had a very productive and informative visit to the Cumbernauld YMCA. I would like to take the opportunity to applaud the hard work and efforts of their incredible staff and volunteers as they continue to go above and beyond in their efforts and programme offerings against all the odds with the pandemic.
"I can tell that they're having a real impact on the local community, whether that be through their supported accommodation work, affordable childcare initiatives, or community outreach.
"I would like to highlight the positive relationships the Cumbernauld YMCA have built with their local secondary schools and their being welcomed in with their new Include & Aspire mentoring programme when they reopen.
"This is an exciting new programme and the level of support from local Cumbernauld schools will have added mutual benefit for the well-being of our young coming out of Covid restrictions and engaging again in school.
"I look forward to visiting them again and speaking to some of their programme users and would once again like to thank their staff and volunteers for their continued efforts throughout these difficult times.
Stewart McCrae, Cumbernauld YMCA Board Chair said:
"We were very pleased to welcome Graham and he was very attentive and obviously interested in our presentation of our work as judged by his questions. Covid recovery is obviously an anxious and stressful time for everyone, and it means a lot when someone from the political spectrum takes the time to listen what it means in our community.
"We fully recognise our YMCA would not have been in the strong position we are in had it not been for furlough. 45 jobs were saved but there is a real concern the ending of furlough is likely to mean further pressures. Our sustainability position faces challenges dependent on factors out with our control. YMCAs are autonomous so are responsible for their own financial success.
"Our parents are signing up again for our Out of School Care service (POMP) but many have reported real anxiety about their employment prospects and the likelihood of changed or reduced patterns for childcare. We are well recognised in the field but we expect major challenges in recovery and the levels of flexibility that may be required as a consequence. The proposed extension of childcare with wrap-around care (provided by local authorities) could have negative impact on our sector, so attention and support is requested to ensure this is monitored.
"Our supported accommodation work has continued throughout Lockdown and a highlight for us right now is welcoming our first mother and baby in nearly 2 years!
Learn more about the Cumbernauld YMCA and their programmes at: http://cumbernauldy.org.uk/