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YMCA Humber part of Greenbelt Festival

September 8, 2016

A TEAM from YMCA Humber was part of faith, arts and music festival Greenbelt, which was held in Kettering, Northamptonshire over the Bank Holiday weekend of 26-29 August.

CEO Malcolm Smith led a team, which included Foyer Manager Andrew Hornsby, Community Youth Worker Jocelyn Dennis and Finance Assistant Cordelia Fitzgerald to the event, where they gathered with other YMCAs from around the country to provide outreach support and oversee the running of the Den – a Greenbelt venue for young people.

YMCA’s involvement in Greenbelt goes back a number of years, across several different venues, but now the youth movement is engaged as an Associate Partner of Greenbelt to utilise specialist skills and services for over 7,000 festival goers.

Highlights for YMCA at Greenbelt 2016 included:

  • Every Which Way: An hour in the Den each day where we’ll be playing games, getting to know inspiring young people, holding interactive talks and discussions and introducing you to some of the activities and programming across the site
  • Honest to God: A daily time to reflect, be refreshed and connect with God
  • Giant Inflatables
  • Ultimate Frisbee and Zorb Football games
  • The opportunity to drop in and hang out with our qualified youth workers and just be.

Even the typically British festival weather of high winds and rain could not distract the team from providing a real community spirit for the many young people that attend the festival.

Malcolm said: “This year at Greenbelt it was my hope that within our YMCA camp we could create a genuine community.

“This group of people, united in their common purpose to serve and belong, to laugh and enjoy, to laugh and have fun, to provoke and encourage and possibly most importantly ensure that 7,000 campers could stay clean came together all under the banner of YMCA….but perhaps it was a small gas stove and two camping shelters that achieved this dream.

“If the kitchen is the heart of the house then our shelters and stove became the focal point to which our teams would return.

“The stove working harder than any of us ensuring that hot water and coffee was in regular supply.

“It was around that stove where conversations would take place, new friendships form, hopes and dreams be birthed and tired eyes find a way to remain awake!

“It was here, in that space that we pitched our tents and dwelt among one another, here where people were accepted as individuals regardless of age, gender, position, faith or sexuality, here where friends and strangers ‘associated their efforts for the extension of his kingdom’ where the members truly belonged, contributed and thrived.”

For more information on Greenbelt, please visit their website or follow them on Twitter.