YMCAs across Great Britain support young people to ‘Get Set’ for Community Action

26 January 2016

YMCAs all over Great Britain are proud to be a delivery partner for Get Set for Community Action, a new UK-wide programme designed to help 14 to 19-year-olds improve the health of their communities.

In total, 15 YMCAs from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales have signed up as partners to the scheme, which will see teams of young people running projects to help create more active communities in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Get Set for Community Action was created by the British Olympic Foundation and British Paralympic Association and made possible thanks to the Big Lottery Fund.

Young people within YMCAs will be encouraged to use the inspiration of the Olympic and Paralympic Movements to shape their projects. These might include clearing a local garden, running a Rio-inspired picnic for younger children or organising a sport taster session for older people.

Each YMCA will engage 10 young people who are not in education, employment or training to take part. Groups will run two health and wellbeing projects over the course of the programme

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive of YMCA England, the national council of YMCAs across England, said: “YMCA is delighted to be the community delivery partner for the Get Set for Community Action programme.

“We believe in the power of communities and the potential for young people to positively contribute to their local neighbourhoods.

“Health and Wellbeing is one of five key service areas for YMCA and, through Get Set for Community Action, we will be able to work with yet more young people, offering more development and volunteering opportunities for them to belong, contribute and thrive.”

YMCAs involved in the scheme are YMCA Coventry and Warkwickshire, YMCA East Surrey, YMCA Manchester, YMCA London South West, YMCA Newcastle, YMCA Norfolk, YMCA North Staffs, Nottinghamshire YMCA, YMCA Plymouth, YMCA Humber, YMCA Swansea, YMCA Worcestershire, YMCA Fairthorne Group, Carrickfergus YMCA and Bellshill and Mossend YMCA.   

Jan Paterson, Chief Executive of the British Olympic Foundation, added: “It’s great to see the Get Set programme continue to offer empowering and engaging opportunities for young people and their communities.

“Get Set for Community Action is a dynamic and creative way to improve life skills as well as staying active and the British Olympic Foundation is incredibly proud to be part of a programme which is so supportive of the Olympic Movement and its values.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Chief Executive of the British Paralympic Association, said: “This is another excellent example of the way in which the Get Set programme has a tremendously positive impact on communities.

“It is wonderful to see young people embracing the Paralympic values and creating a wide range of projects through which they can engage their local community. At the British Paralympic Association we are very proud to play our part in delivering this programme to young people across the country.”

Peter Ainsworth, Chair of the Big Lottery Fund, said: “We are proud to fund Get Set for Community Action, which will see young people across the UK strengthen relationships with their communities by delivering activities inspired by the Rio 2016 Games.

“Young people will work together to plan projects to help communities stay active and healthy, gaining personal skills that will stand them in good stead for the future.”

The Get Set for Community Action initiative will run until September 2016.

Get Set for Community Action is part of the Get Set programme. Research conducted by EdComs showed a marked development both in the life skills of the young people involved in Get Set and the way they are perceived within their communities.

  • The majority of young people reported that their involvement in Get Set had a positive impact and developed their life skills: leadership (84%); working as part of a team (81%) and meeting new people (82%). Young people who did not participate in the programme were also interviewed and far fewer agreed they had skills in these areas.
  • 79% said that they had boosted their confidence and self-esteem through organising Get Set activities in their communities.
  • 80% of young people agreed that Get Set has inspired them to get involved in other community activities.

To find out more about Get Set for Community Action visit www.getsetaction.org.uk


Notes to Editors


  • Founded in 1844, YMCA in England is made up of 114 member YMCAs working to ensure that young people have opportunities to thrive and contribute positively to their communities.
  • YMCA operates in over 530 different communities in England impacting upon the lives of over 600,000 people every year.
  • YMCAs provide almost 10,000 beds for young people every night. YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of safe, supported accommodation for young men and women.
  • YMCA enables nearly 43,000 people every year to engage in education, skills and training to enable them to improve their opportunities in the job market.
  • YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of health and wellbeing services promoting physical activity.

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