Tag Archives: International

Bolton YMCA supports France after tragic events of 13th November

On Friday 13th of November 2015, tragic terrorist attacks happened in Paris.

During our Drop-In session and the Youth Council last Monday, young people got opportunity to express themselves about events. They shared their feelings and how they reacted when news were announced.

“It upset me as innocent people have suffered for some others self-pleasurement and gain from something so horrible and disgusting. I am also disgusted at people blaming one race for the attacks when infact its just the minority of people causing this problem. I also feel sorrow for the families that have lost others due to the attacks. My heart and health goes to everyone there as they will need it in this dark times.” Adam, 17.


Young people of Bolton YMCA wanted to send their wishes to Parisians and French people. To join their chain, you can print the sign and post your picture on Facebook. #BYMCA

Beth & Lucy tell us about Strasbourg trip

11061998_10153220137708111_4269686870124186423_n“As a group, we have discussed how fantastic the workshops and group work was to be a part of.

Learning about the different countries and cultures and how individuals view diversity and democracy. The country presentations where very eye opening and gave everyone a broader idea of each countries stance alongside the individual ideas. For example Britain spoke about the different political party’s that we have and what difficulties they face day to day, whereas the Ukraine are still at conflict and certain areas are like war zones. This made everyone see their own countries in different lights. The work we did as mixed groups where very beneficial – getting to know people from different countries on a personal level and making great friendships was one of the main things I will be taking away with me.

One particular part of the trip our group thoroughly enjoyed was the trip to the European Parliament. We all found it very insightful and interesting to learn about the process of European law and how it affects members of the European Union. It certainly raised our interest in European politics and inspired us to take interest in active involvement within this.

The official opening of the exhibition was wonderful. It was amazing to see everyone’s hard work and efforts come together. It was also really interesting to see the images each nation had chosen to represent their countries democracy and diversity, which meant each participant was awarded and insight in to the lives of others.

Finally, I believe it is important to consider the overall effect the project had on our group. Every single member was affected in an extremely positive way and we all learnt a lot in regards to democracy and diversity across Europe. Furthermore, a large portion of our group admitted the trip broadened their perceptions of the work the YMCA does massively, leading to some members hoping for more involvement in future activities at both a global and national level. Overall, it was an absolutely fantastic opportunity for each and every one of us. it enabled us to learn a lot, create fantastic relationships with people from all across Europe and really feel part of the YMCA family. Although, one of the best ways in which the trip has affected our group has to be the sense of empowerment our team felt, it really was a life changing trip! “

Lucy and Beth, 22, YMCA Bolton


Ben’s Story


 My Name is Ben and I am 22 years old and

have been unemployed since leaving school

 and have not been able to gain employment.

 I am currently staying in accommodation at the

YMCA in Accrington and have been there now for

 just over a Year.

 I recently found out about Bolton YMCA through a partnership organisation who told me about international work experience abroad going ahead with Bolton YMCA. I took part in the opportunity I found it really rewarding and wanted to get involved in more opportunities and one of the workers told me about a project coming up called The Learning Cafe and how this could also lead to another opportunity internationally.

 I signed up for The Learning Cafe as I through it would be good for me to improve my confident, have the chance to go on another trip and improve on my leadership skills. I also hope for it to help me look into trying to gain employment working as a youth worker as this is a job I am particular interested in.

I attended The Learning Cafe where I worked on the skills and was able to take part in a trip to Bulgaria completing work experience. I also created my CV through a CV Sessions, took part in team building exercises and learned interview techniques and now I feel more comfortable applying for jobs/training opportunities.

 This work experience abroad allowed me to gain more confidence, skills and knowledge. I was able to improve on my team work and leadership skills and now have experience working with Young People and it should stand me in good stead for a future in Youth Work.

 I now feel I have a better my chances of finding employment. I would recommend The Learning Cafe and the international volunteering. I have now enrolled on another “Talent Match” which is being run through Bolton YMCA and now been completing job applications and hope you gain employment soon.

Liam’s story



I am Liam and I am 22 years old and want to change

the world, I have never worked and want to do

positive things with my time to make a difference.


I have been involved in the YMCA through the Talent Match programme since June and this has given me opportunities to volunteer within the YMCA and take part in a international project to Romania which build up my confidence and allowed me to achieve. From being a part of the YMCA a found out about the learning cafe and wanted to attend.

My time on the learning cafe I learnt to be part of a team and I’ve also learnt:

-team building skills

-problem solving skills

-communication skills

-leadership skills

I think that I’m more than ever ready to volunteer and im in a better place now having completed the learning cafe.

The learning cafe gave me another opportunity to go abroad to Bulgaria. I believe that the skills I have possessed from my first project and the learning cafe has helped me complete the Bulgaria project.

I have gained more confidence in changing the world and will carry on volunteering and will not stop until it has changed.