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YMCA Humber – Post-1950

May 19, 2015

IN the fourth and final instalment of his series on the history of YMCA Humber, Foyer Manager Andrew Hornsby looks at the history of YMCA Humber from post-World War II until 2009.

Heneage Road extensions

In 1951 a girls club was established and in 1952, 41 Heneage Road was purchased and developed as a hostel for young people.

In 1953 an extension at the rear of 39/41 Heneage Road was built for youth work.

Further hostel extensions were made in 1957 and 1966, with Princess Alexandra visiting Grimsby to open the extension in 1957.

Opened in 1909, the facilities on Heneage Road in Grimsby provided accommodation, support and activities for a range of people including the disabled, foreigners and the homeless.

Humberston YMCA Camp

The popular YMCA Humberston Camp was acquired in 1955 and developed in 1963 with the addition of cedar huts, a sports hall and sports grounds.

This youth camp offered young people the opportunity to get away from town life and learn a variety of skills whilst staying over in the hutted and tented accommodation which offered up to 164 bed spaces in total.

There was also a dining room, toilets, showers, a sports hall, outdoor hard courts, football pitches and an adventure course.

Peaks Lane Hostel

In 1967 a development committee of young businessmen from the area recommended that a new hostel should be established to provide accommodation for young people, with the facilities to encourage a more varied youth work programme for the residents.

In 1973 the new hostel was built on land generously donated by Mr Michael Sleight of Binbrook, and was opened amongst much fanfare including a visit from Terry Wogan to help with the “It’s a Challenge” fundraising event.

Since the mid-1970s the Peaks Lane hostel has provided a variety of sporting and accommodation provision for many locals and travellers to North East Lincolnshire. More commonly known as “the YM” – the hostel continues to provide supported accommodation for vulnerable people today.

YMCA Foyer

In the late 1990s plans were developing to build a ‘Foyer project’, based on the French Foyer Principal model, to accommodate youngsters in education, training and employment.

The existing ‘Riby House Hostel’ was unfit for purpose, and in partnership with the local council this was partially demolished in 2000 and replaced by the YMCA Foyer.

In early 2001 the Foyer project began operating in its new facilities on Riby Square, Grimsby.

Community House

In 2009, the YMCA Humber linked up with a generous benefactor to open a Community Housing Project in the heart of Grimsby.

The project, which began service in early-2010, provides support to young men looking to live more independently.

In 2013 the house received the ‘YMCA of the Year’ award for its success in changing the fortunes of the residents in the house.