North West charity YMCA Together celebrated its 175-year milestone with a gala dinner at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel.
The event saw more than 120 people representing the charity and businesses from across the region gather to recognise YMCA Together’s achievements throughout the years as well as raising awareness of the crucial work they undertake across communities today.
Formerly known as YMCA Liverpool & Sefton, the organisation, headed by Chief Executive Ellie McNeil, supports more than a thousand people across homelessness, domestic abuse, mental health, substance misuse and childcare through its innovative and research driven services.
Ellie said: “The event was a celebration of everything we have achieved in the last 175 years, from the day that we first established way back in 1846 as the City of Liverpool Young Men’s Christian Association. Throughout our 175 years the YMCA has been a sanctuary of safety and a beacon of light and hope to everyone who needs us and now, years later, we are still working to provide the utmost care for those the people that need us the most.
“Unfortunately, some of the societal issues that drove the inception of the YMCA back in the 1800s are still prevalent today and it’s our mission to ensure that where people are in need, we are able to provide a service that meets those needs. It is our future ambition to do more prevention work so that in the next 175 years the need for our services is not as widespread. Our 175th gala dinner provided a platform for us to inform and educate our guests on what we do and what we stand for, while acknowledging the incredible work our colleagues, peers and volunteers do support people to change their lives each and every day.”
In 2021, YMCA Together underwent a significant rebrand and expanded its services across Merseyside and the wider North West, introducing new facilities in areas such as mental health to help even more individuals experiencing crisis in their lives.
In the last 12 months, the charity has supported over 1,000 people and provided almost 75,000 bed spaces in that period, including emergency accommodation as part of its COVID response services.
Ellie added: “We have a growing team over of 150 individuals including staff and volunteers that give so much of their time to support others. We feel so privileged to work alongside our service-users and feel inspired by their bravery and tenacity as they strive towards a better life.
“It was our pleasure to welcome our partners, colleagues, peers and local businesses to the Titanic Hotel to showcase those stories. It’s important that we continue to share our experiences and talk about the work that we’re doing to raise awareness and ultimately help more people. Together we can really make a change.”