This year, our YMCA celebrates 135 years of service to our community.
135 years! To give you a context of that time, Queen Victoria was on the throne and construction of Tower Bridge was just beginning.
When YMCA first started in Burton-on-Trent, our first office was on Union Street. In the early 1900s we moved on to the High Street near the old Electric Theatre. Back in those days, we were very active in team sports such as football, badminton, hockey, tennis, cricket, golf and swimming.
As well as the sports, YMCA also led rambling groups and religious education classes.
It was also one of the only places in Burton to have a wireless radio which its members could listen to.
In the 1930’s, you could rely on the YMCA to teach you skills in woodworking, book keeping, handicrafts and leaderships. All valuable skills when unemployment was so rife.
During the second world war, YMCAs across the country helped with the YMCA canteen vans. These vans would serve hot food and drinks to troops here and in Europe.
After the war, life in Burton slowly returned to normal and the YMCA eventually started to hold their gym, teams and exercise classes again.
Since those early years, YMCA Burton has gone from strength to strength and diversified its services to the area.
We now offer housing to single adults across three sites, we have a foodbank which helps feed the local community who are struggling. We have outreach teams who actively seek out homeless people. We have four charity shops who help provide new and used goods. Our mediation services help families in crisis and our counsellors work with our clients to improve their mental well-being.
During our 135 years in operation, one thing has been a constant; we could not offer our services without the valuable time, support and donations from the local community.
During 2022 we hope to hold some events to celebrate, raise awareness and to show you why, after all this time, we are still a relevant charity to have in East Staffordshire and why we hope to be able to celebrate for many, many more years to come.
Here’s to everyone who has been part of this incredible journey; thank you.