Support in the Aftermath of the Fire

We’re still dealing with the aftermath of the fire at Paisley YMCA’s Makerspace in William Street. Online services continue and meanwhile we’re awaiting reports to know whether or not there’s structural damage as well as equipment damage, damage to wiring and damage to equipment. We’re also progressing the insurance claim for equipment, of course.

There are five main factors helping us in these circumstances:

  • firstly, all of our running services were online anyway because of the Covid-19 restrictions, and so there’s been no sudden stop to delivery of services. Obviously, we were planning for resumption of services once lockdown restrictions were lifted and although we’ve no venue or equipment for the specialist work we do (yet) we’ve some time to regroup and replace kit like the 3D printer, laser cutter etc.;
  • secondly, some of our planned face to services will be delivered on an outreach basis anyway, (although we’ll need to replace much of our mobile equipment);
  • thirdly, we’re driven by our mission to support young people and we’re resilient, so whatever delays there may be in getting back to normal, we’ll not be stopped;
  • fourthly, our funders have already been understanding about the impact of Covid-19 and delays to some of our programmes; and
  • fifthly, and this is of massive value to us, we’ve been overwhelmed by the unsolicited positive response we’ve had to the situation in the form of messages of support and offers of help.

Offers of help have included those from:

  • Erskine Arts & Media Studio who have offered staff time and the loan of music equipment;
    Create Paisley who have offered staff time and art materials;
  • Renfrewshire Council who have asked us to contact them about potential funding, space or PR support through paisley.is;
  • Renfrewshire Libraries who have offered library spaces;
  • Glasgow School of Art who have offered staff time and the loan of Makerspace equipment;
  • This is Makers who have offered staff time and Makerspace equipment;
  • Renfrew, Tayside and Bellshill YMCAs who have offered staff time to discuss support needs;
  • YMCA Scotland who have offered help with the insurance claim.
  • In addition, several professional individuals from a number of council and third sector orgs have offered individual help where they can; and youth club members’ parents and other local people have suggested support for raising funds.

This support reflects the high regard people have for our mission and the work of our staff in delivering it. As a Board member, I’m proud to be associated with the work our staff put in, and humbled to reflect on the value so many partners place on the results of their work.

On behalf of the Board, to all those who’ve offered practical and moral support for us, thank you. You’ve no idea how much difference it’s made to us in exceptionally trying circumstances. We’re deeply grateful 🙂

Join Us – we’re seeking new members

Paisley YMCA has seen in recent years a reduction in our membership to the extent that all our members are on the Board of Management, but this is changing for 2021 – we’re looking for new members to join us

At it’s heart, Paisley YMCA, like all YMCAs, is about fellowship of like-minded people who share the Christian values of:

  • treating other people the way we’d like to be treated ourselves (‘do unto others as you would be done by’ is the Christian ‘Golden Rule’); and
  • supporting other people regardless of their personal characteristics, be that race or ethnicity, religious belief or lack of it, sex or gender, sexuality, disability or age, or whatever spurious grounds for discrimination might be applied elsewhere (as exemplified by the ‘Good Samaritan’ parable in which a Philistine in trouble was helped by a Samaritan despite a situation of war between the two tribes).

And we recognise that these essential Christian values are shared by people with other religious beliefs and by people with no religious beliefs. Our fellowship is based on values not belief.

Our constitution commits us to other ways of expressing aspects of these values, like the Community Learning and Development values of:

  • self-determination – respecting the individual and valuing the right of people to make their own choices.
  • inclusion – valuing equality of both opportunity and outcome, and challenging discriminatory practice.
  • empowerment – increasing the ability of individuals and groups to influence issues that affect them and their communities through individual and/ or collective action.
  • working collaboratively – maximising collaborative working relationships in partnerships between the many agencies which contribute to CLD, including collaborative work with participants, learners and communities.
  • promotion of learning as a lifelong activity – ensuring that individuals are aware of a range of learning opportunities and are able to access relevant options at any stage of their life.

Another way of expressing our values is that what we want for the young poeple we work with is for them to achieve Scotland’s National Youth Work Outcomes – that young people:

  • are confident, resilient and optimistic for the future;
  • manage personal, social and formal relationships;
  • create, describe and apply their learning and skills;
  • participate safely and effectively in groups;
  • consider risk, make reasoned decisions and take control;
  • express their voice and demonstrate social commitment; and
  • broaden their perspectives through new experiences and thinking

If you share our values and you care about supporting young people to develop character and skills, we’d like you to think about joining us. It’ll cost you nothing but a little bit of time and interest 🙂