YMCA Gym Gets A Make Over
The YMCA Fitness Centre gym reopened for Spring 2013 following a total refit of its fitness room. The Centre now boasts a 40-station, state-of-the art-gym, kitted with the very latest Precor resistance and cardio-vascular machines.
‘There is a lot of competition in the area, but we like to think the YMCA is a little different from other gyms. For one thing it’s the longest-running fitness facility in Crouch End and has been offering fitness classes and a gym since the 80’s. Although it’s come a long way since then’, recalls Programme Director, Jim Shepley.
‘Back then, there was just one sports hall, a single treadmill and a multi-gym in the corner.’ The Club now runs over 70 classes each week, including spinning, circuit training, Pilates and yoga. ‘The Centre benefited from a big investment of Lottery Funding in 1999 when the building was totally transformed. Since then there have been some upgrades, but nothing on this scale.’
Carmen Palmer has been a member of the YMCA for 17 years: ‘I love it. It’s one of Crouch End’s best kept secrets, there’s no place like the Y; it’s so down to earth, the people are great, lots of us have been coming here for years. With the makeover, it just got better!’
‘One thing that sets the YMCA apart is the cross section of the local community that uses the facilities’, says Paul Mynott, Fitness Centre Manager. ‘It’s certainly not full of the usual 30-something, office-worker types you get in a lot of gyms. We get young people on our student membership, through to the senior members for our 50+ programme. The GP referral programme attracts people who may be starting exercise for the first time, prompted by a health scare or injury. The new equipment is more ergonomic and user-friendly, making it easier for everyone to use.’
‘We were keen to put the old equipment to good use and have managed to find good homes for all of it’, Paul added. ‘It took a lot of co-ordinating but we have worked closely with the Muswell Hill Community Centre, Territorial Army and Church Farm Youth Club to ensure everything has been recycled.’
Joy Wheeler of Muswell Hill Centre said, ‘This is a very generous gesture from the YMCA to donate this equipment. It will certainly be put to good use. It’s a great example of how organisations can work together when they put their minds to it. It’s given us a one-off opportunity to refurbish what was a very run down gym used by several voluntary groups that use the centre including The Muswell Hill Karate Academy and the area youth project.’
If you want to know more about what’s on offer or to ask advice about exercise and fitness call the Fitness Centre on 020 8340 6088.
Hoops Springs Eternal - World Record Attempt
On Saturday 13th October 2012 the people of Crouch End and Haringey contributed to Hornsey YMCA’s Hoops Springs Eternal event. 248 people shot a hoop as part of an international world record attempt to have as many people as possible shooting basketballs in one day. YMCAS from 119 countries were involved. More about the event:
Under 8’s Y-Toddle to Raise Funds for Their Centre
On Sunday 30th September 2012, approximately 150 children, babies, parents and grandparents walked the picturesque 2km course in Y-toddle's fourth year event to provide equipment for the Harringay Club children's centre.
Hornsey YMCA 10K and Festival 2012
The event received tremendous support from from over thirty local businesses as well as from individuals.
View the video of the day:
Top Fun Run Fundraisers celebrated at Hornsey YMCA
Hornsey YCMA hosted a small gathering on 9th October, to celebrate the Fundraising total from the 2012 Fun Run of £10,495.64. Jim Shepley, Hornsey YMCA Programme Director, stated 'We think raising that kind of money in such a difficult economic climate gives us much to celebrate, and it is great to have an opportunity to thank people in person. Fundraisers, like the ones we are welcoming today, are just what our Charity needs to support our work within the local Community.'
Paul Gallacher and his son Jack were named the 2012 top adult and child fundraisers, raising £1,283.75 and £647.50 respectively. They were joined by Race Sponsor Andrew Thornton, of Thorton’s Budgens of Crouch End, whose personal fundraising put him a close second to Paul, and Steve McKenzie from local triathlon store Bike and Run, who had donated prizes to recognise their efforts. Prize draw winners Matthew Landells (child) and Peter Quirk were also honoured, having contributed greatly to the overall total.
Steve McKenzie from Bike and Run said 'We were very pleased to offer support to the fundraising for the Hornsey YMCA Fun Run, and in particular the considerable achievements of runners who have used their sporting efforts to help such a deserving charity.' Steve presented the top fundraisers with a certificate for a selection of running equipment, including trainers donated by the store.
Jim Shepley went on to say 'The generosity of the team at Bike and Run has been much appreciated, and shows how the Fun Run continues to engage the support of local businesses and organisations. Andrew Thornton’s team are also a constant source of encouragement and inspiration.'
Photo left-right: Jim Shepley, Andrew Thornton, Matthew Landells, Paul Gallacher, Jack Gallacher and Steve McKenzie.
Action For Kids Jubilee Party
Games, cakes and the party spirit raised £500 for Action For Kids, the charity that helps disabled children 'towards independence'. To see the exuberant photos of the day, including 'Prince Charles' on a space-hopper, click on:
Action for Kids Gallery
Nominated charities celebrate Fun Run Sponsorship windfall
On the 15th November 2012 Thornton’s Budgens of Crouch End was the fitting host for an event to celebrate the fundraising efforts of local people who ran in the 2011 Fun Run (22nd May). Hornsey YMCA were delighted to announce that the amount raised from the 2011 event has reached a grand total of £16,179.28, an amazing result in such a difficult economic climate.
Andrew Thornton, race sponsor, was once more the top fundraiser for the event, and a massive share of the total can be directly attributed to either his personal fundraising or that of the Budgen’s Team. Andrew commented, 'It's a great honour to have been involved with such an amazing community again this year; each year it just gets better and better!'
YMCA Hornsey’s Chief Executive, Tim Fallon, said, 'We cannot thank Andrew and the Budgen’s team enough for their continuing invaluable support of both this event and Hornsey YMCA. The people of this area have also taken the event to their hearts, and we very much appreciate their efforts. Charities like Hornsey YMCA really need the support of their local people and organisations, and we feel very fortunate to be at the centre of this particular community.'
Paul Gallacher, runner up for top fundraiser for the fourth year in a row, joined the celebration to receive a long overdue round of applause for his efforts. Read more about his story below.
Two other charities will also benefit: Icandance, which gives disabled young people the opportunity to create and perform through dance; and The 14 Month Project, a locally organised 14-month campaign to raise funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease.
Juliet Diener, Founder and Principal of Icandance, is delighted with their share of the Fun Run Sponsorship. 'We are incredibly grateful to the YMCA for naming Icandance as a beneficiary of the funds raised by the Fun Run. The donation will impact directly on the lives of children and young people with disabilities by giving them the opportunity to experience the joy of dancing regardless of their disability. Thank you so very much!’
Dave Jennings from the 14 Month Project was equally pleased, exclaiming when he heard the news, 'I don't know what to say other than to express our deep gratitude, a massive thank you and a huge hug for your support and kindness!'
Photo: Organisers and charities at the Fun Run presentation to thank top fundraisers Andrew Thornton (far left) and Paul Gallacher (3rd from right). Photograph by Tony Gay
Paul Gallacher, Fundraiser Extraordinaire!
For the past few years Paul Gallacher has been one of YMCA Hornsey's unsung fundraising heroes. Despite raising huge amounts of money for YMCA Hornsey and the other nominated charities through the Fun Run since 2008, he has usually been a runner up for top fundraiser; always the bridesmaid, never the bride!
At theFun Run presentation at Thornton’s Budgens YMCA Hornsey were able to give him heartfelt thanks in person, as well as a long overdue round of applause.
Paul kindly agreed to share what motivates him and the secret of his fundraising success:
How long have you been involved with the Fun Run and what prompted you to do that first race?
I had watched previous Fun Runs when friends had run them and always thought that I wanted to complete a run one year as it looked good fun. I still played football and was beginning to realise that I needed to get fitter, so that's what made me do my first run in 2008.
What motivates you to fundraise for Hornsey YMCA in particular?
I like living in the Hornsey/Crouch End area and every year the Hornsey YMCA Fun Run raises funds for charities (including itself) that are really at the heart of the local community. I am lucky in that I have a decent job and a healthy family and this is my small way of putting something back into the local community. The Fun Runs themselves are always very enjoyable too, even more so since the day has morphed into a Festival in the last couple of years!
What do you find the most effective method of fundraising?
I have worked for a number of years in a large office so my most effective form of fundraising is asking my work colleagues to sponsor me via an online site such as Just Giving. They now know that every May time I will be asking them nicely for sponsorship for the Fun Run.
How much you think you have raised over the past few years?
I have looked back at my Just Giving pages going back to 2008 and the grand total for the last four years is £3,420 (excluding Gift Aid and employer donations from The Royal Bank of Scotland).
Photo: Paul Gallacher (right) with Hornsey YMCA Programme Director, Jim Shepley. Photograph by Tony Gay