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Debbie’s Blog #1 – First Impressions

December 7, 2018

Hello!  I’m writing this after my first 4 days as the new CEO at YMCA Humber.  I was really keen to come back to the charity sector where my heart truly lies, and my first four days have not disappointed.  It’s been an action-packed start, a pace I’ll look to continue, and I’ve loved hearing about the work that we’re doing.  The team at YMCA Humber have given me a warm welcome and I’m hugely grateful for that.


I was deeply moved by the history of YMCA Humber (known years ago as Grimsby YMCA).  First records of Grimsby in connection with YMCA appear in 1867!  I’ll be spending much more time looking at the history but what struck me when looking at some of the 1980s documentation was how many local businesses were involved in supporting YMCA Humber.  We still have businesses that support us today which we’re hugely grateful for, but I’d like to see us much more connected with businesses and groups within our community; I want to be able to show them the value that YMCA adds to our community through its good work.  I’m hoping to get out and about to connect with these groups and businesses early next year – to talk to the all about our wonderful work.

During this week, I met with the lovely members of the Cleethorpes Rotary Club.  YMCA Humber is a partner of the Club and it was great to witness first-hand the strength of that relationship.  I’m really looking forward to developing the work that our two organisations can do together.  It was wonderful to see a round-up of all the work that the Rotary Club has done during 2018, making a huge difference to people’s lives.  Thank you Cleethorpes Rotary.

Many people probably associate YMCA Humber with our buildings – particularly our Peaks Lane site and our Foyer at Riby Square.  Having been at both of those buildings for most of my first four days, I have witnessed first-hand the valuable support services and homes that these buildings are providing.  Within any organisation there are always things we can do to improve what we offer and how we work, and I have been heartened by the passion and energy of YMCA staff to work towards this.

Many people probably don’t associate YMCA Humber with the work it is doing to support mental health in young people.  Such valuable and much-needed work.  After hearing all about this work yesterday I left that session with a warm glow – we really are making  a huge difference to people’s lives and this particular mental health work with young people is having an immediate, positive impact.

Take care all, Debbie

CEO, YMCA Humber