From the CEO's desk

Steve Jobs once said ‘you can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future’. To this end, I’m delighted to bring you our 2020/2021 Annual Report.

This feels more relevant than ever as we as an organisation are once again facing into the uncertainty of a pandemic shutdown, this one the longest that New Zealand has experienced. Our commitment to our staff remains the same in 2021 – we continue to support them despite our drastically reduced revenue, and understand that this is not an easy time for anyone. In a routine shaped by 1 pm PM briefings and online calls, YMCA North is pushing through.

We are determined to create a bright future, one where we grow our reach and benefit even more of our community. We do this by both an in-depth understanding of our current business, and extensive planning for the times ahead. All the time, in these pandemic days, we keep the health and wellbeing of our Y whānau (everyone who works for us, and everyone who participates in our programmes) in the forefront of our minds.

From my home to yours – stay safe and well. Kia kaha.

Julian, CEO.

What's on at the Y

Special ability fitness

Community fitness for all

During our first session of the multi-sport drop-in zone at YMCA Lagoon Stadium, we had parents who brought their children with special needs to participate in this programme. As this number grew to an average of 15 families participating on a weekly basis, we wanted to provide a programme that would benefit this community - so their children felt safe, secure and had a sense of belonging to help them thrive.

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Once in a lifetime experience

The Outward Bound (OB) course is all about discovering your full potential through challenge and adventure in the outdoors. Every year, the YMCA partnership scheme makes scholarships available for our employees to enable them to take this opportunity. This year, Claudia Fraser, an outdoor instructor from YMCA Camp Adair, shares her time at the Outward Bound, as she calls this a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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Disco night with seniors

The YMCA's youth development programme, Raise Up is always looking for new ways to get involved and help out in the community. One such event was when the Raise Up crew planned a disco night with the seniors in our community. Shreya Badal, the organiser and one of Raise Up's prefects within the Puketapapa crew, shares the story.

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Keeping young people safe online

You might feel the easiest solution is to ban your young person from all leisure use of devices or place strict rules around usage; but the most likely outcome of these sorts of ‘helicopter parent’ strategies is to drive your young person underground – they’ll continue to use, they just won’t tell you about it. There are better, trust-focused strategies that are far more likely to keep your young person safe online – Here's our top five ways to help you out.

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Staff apprenticeship opportunities

The Apprenticeship Boost Initiative launched by the government last year supports employers with funding, enabling them to offer staff, access to an on-the-job qualification. This scheme has enabled us to provide a fantastic opportunity for our staff to undertake an apprenticeship while they work, and obtain an industry qualification. Staff members Grace Thompson and Belinda Jooste share their experiences and the value this course is bringing to their professional lives.

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Support for young people

After the COVID-19 lockdowns, 17% of young people in Aotearoa are continuing to experience isolation and prolonged loneliness (Loneliness New Zealand Charitable Trust). In light of the increased need for support, we have established new Raise Up crews in South Auckland to provide more young people with opportunities to develop, connect and grow.

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Tips to stay motivated this winter

It’s that time of year again where we start noticing a few coughs and colds going around telling us that winter is here. Casey McLain, Fitness and Recreation Operations Manager at YMCA North shares his top five tips for staying physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy this winter.

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Out of school care: Y- Bots

Term 2 has seen the pilot of the brand new Y-Bots programme introduced into after-school care at Sunnybrae Normal School and Warkworth School. Kids showed much enthusiasm and engagement being introduced to coding and robotics.

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GoldFit member turns 100

Sarah Masefield, popularly known as Topsy, says that she was always the frail one in the family while growing up, and her dad even doubted her making it till adulthood. But Topsy had other plans. She defied all odds and lived to be a centenarian. In April 2021, we had the opportunity to celebrate Topsy’s 100th birthday with our Y whānau. Here's how we celebrated.

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Showcasing young fashion talent

In 2011, Raise Up's Walk the Line (WTL) established itself as the premier opportunity for young NZ designers to showcase their talent at NZ Fashion Weekend. Each year features a different theme for the youth to express their creativity through design. In its tenth year, WTL is back with a brand new theme shaping the future of fashion.

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Two decades with the Y

Living a healthy and active lifestyle - long time member Tevita Holani has seen his fair share of gyms around Auckland but says YMCA Lagoon Pool and Leisure Centre is his favourite. Here's why.

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A YMCA Hero story

A bequest donated to YMCA North Shore and Recreation Centre by an ex-member who passed away early last year were used to re-do our stadium floors to give as many children and young people a wonderful experience.

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