By Ashey Young-
A Romford YMCA hostel with 148 residents said it has praised the overwhelming support by the generosity of businesses, including McDonalds, which has given chilled stock and Lush, in Romford, which has provided 150 bars of soap.
TK Maxx was also named as one of the businesses that donated items, while the Romford branch of Waterstones contributed books. The YMCA which has a newly refurbished 65 station gym and studios delivering over 100 classes a week is one of the popular centres for young people in the area. The YMCA also has fitness instructors who offer advice and guidance and motivate interested individuals to achieve your fitness goals.
The YMCA works with a number of local schools to provide fitness activities and specialise in working with those with additional needs, older people and families. We have a track record of working with hard to reach groups and in delivering community health in line with Primary Care Trust aims.
These include: cancer referral scheme, stroke recovery, 50 plus programmes and working with excluded children using fitness and health as a mechanism for personal growth and behaviour management. The charity says it has been forced to close some of its services during the coronavirus outbreak, such as the Diner, the hub for groups to eat and drink.
YMCA gym Image: Ymcatg.org
The borough also normally provides Pre-school for children aged 2-5 years old, five days a week from 9am until 12noon daily, and after School Clubs (on and off-site) from 3-6pm, five days a week for 3-12 year old’s. Holiday Clubs between 8am and 6pm during the school holidays for 3-16 year olds are also part of what they have an offer, incuding parties for 14 year olds.
Viki Bainsfair, health and well being manager, said it is offering its fitness classes online to members instead of on site.
“We’ve been working really hard to keep our fitness provision going as much as possible. We know how important it is to keep your mental health strong during times of difficulty.”
The charity said residents normally share bathrooms and eat communally at the 1960s building, in Rush Green Road, but the coronavirus outbreak has created an “unprecedented” situation. Director of housing, Brian Cooke, said many residents have nowhere else to go if they have to self-isolate.
“For our residents who present with Covid-19 symptoms, we have taken measures to support them with self-isolation.
“Each residential floor has two bathrooms so one has been designated for those with symptoms. We’re also offering room service, providing breakfast, lunch and dinner to those affected.”
A YMCA spokesman said the response of residents during the crisis has been “incredibly positive”. “So many of our residents either study or work and are now staying in the hostel due to the lockdown. However they are keen to help our neighbours and their fellow residents.
“There have been offers of help to pick up cleaning duties, as many of our current cleaning team fall into the vulnerable category; offers of picking up shopping for those that live near to the YMCA buildings, as well as the suggestion that they create online training videos for the gym members. “The sense of community here is one I’m really proud of