YMCA Together launch Good Day programme in partnership with The Life Rooms at Mersey Care

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YMCA Together

YMCA Together has launched a new programme of activities intended to improve its service users’ mental and physical wellbeing. 

After securing funding from specialist inpatient and community services providers Public Health Liverpool and The Life Rooms, which is part of Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, the award-winning charity will now host a variety of classes and workshops at its Dutch Farm facility, such as cookery, agricultural planting, animal welfare, therapy drums and low-impact sports like badminton and football, as part of The Good Day Programme. 

Based in Garston in South Liverpool on disused industrial land, the space promotes the importance of nature for positive wellbeing and plays home to the country’s first Homeless Memorial Garden.

Deputy Chief Executive of YMCA Together Jon Metcalfe said: “We’ve developed The Good Day Programme as we wanted to bring people to an outdoor environment and host a number of activities that they can get involved with. 

“It exposes people to some physical movement and also gets them participating in other aspects such as animal care and plant growing. It’s a way of getting people out of city centre living and into the outdoors connecting with nature.”

Named as the number one best charity to work for in the UK by Best Companies, YMCA has services throughout the city, including Nightingale House, Leeds Street and Alt Bank House. It has been providing support for the past 176 years and in 2021 was awarded the Freedom of the City. 

Mersey Care’s Director of Social Inclusion and Participation Michael Crilly said: “We’re so lucky to have such a diverse and vibrant voluntary sector in our city. The sector played a vital role in supporting our communities during the pandemic. As we work towards recovery, we’re proud to commission such an inspirational range of VCSE organisations seeking to support our communities’ wellbeing through innovative activity and meaningful partnerships.”

Jon Metcalfe added: “This funding has enabled us to buy equipment and put on sessions for our service users, which we previously wouldn’t have been able to do. We are working with a number of grassroots agencies in order to deliver some of the sessions, for example, the drumming workshops and outdoor community cooking kitchen.”

The Good Day Programme will run for 12 months with the YMCA team hosting events and offering mood-boosting opportunities every Tuesday and Wednesday.

Jon said: “We believe that every journey starts with a good day, and that’s exactly why we have set up this programme. All of our service users are on a journey to recovery and happiness and if we can kickstart that at Dutch Farm, then we have already made a huge difference. 

“Our hope is that at the end of the 12 months when we can no longer provide the workshops, our service users will take a liking to something enough that they want to pursue it back in public – perhaps they would set up their own groups. The Good Day Programme not only highlights the importance of nature on mental and physical wellbeing but shows people that there is always hope.”

Funding has been awarded to nine charities across the region to encourage the development of activities, initiatives and partnerships within communities to support the health and wellbeing needs of residents.

Pictured (from left to right) Kaytie Bancroft, Ella Smith, Jay McQuilluam, Liz Sabatini and Paul Hill.


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