YMCA Reading


YMCA Reading Celebrate AGM 173 (Maybe)
19 Sep 2019

Last night YMCA Reading welcomed friends, members, trustees, staff, and of course residents to our 173rd AGM.  That is if AGMs were held back in 1847. 

The event was opened and closed with with a live acoustic performance by local  guitarist Allan Bahati who is hoping to work with some of our young people in a music workshop soon.

Pastor James Holland from the LifeSprings Church on Oxford Road did a stirring opening devotion for us.  Followed by a quick summary report from Chairman Lindsey Edwards who paid tribute to Ken Gaines, long-term friend, and past Board member who passed away last week.  Ken was fundamental to the long-term development of the YMCA Reading Padworth Activity Centre (formerly the Log Cabin).

Chief Executive, Arlene Kersley summarised the Annual Report , the good the bad and the ugly from 2018-19, the end result is that everything negative that happens has a silver lining for us to learn from.  When things go wrong we pick ourselves up and move-on.  This was particularly true during the year with things like roof leaks and boiler failures.  Arlene thanked Board members, volunteers and staff for all of their incredible hard work throughout the year.  YMCA has developed a really positive team and that is evident in the very good work that is happening with our young people over the course of the year.

The highlight of the event was hearing the department heads give their account of the year.

Parkside Pre-School Staff wrote a poem that beautifully summed-up the fun learning that takes place throughout their year:

   Parkside Pre-School, a wonderful place,

   Activities, adventures a smile on your face,

   Role play, the shoe shop, a home corner too,

   Keelan and multi-skills, so much to do!

   Santa’s visit,

   It’s fun in soft play,

   Diddy dance with Bethany,

   Every Friday.

   Pantos and Prospect Park,

   Running around, having fun,

   Exploring at Padworth

   Stories in the sun,

   Care home visits

   How we love to sing,

   Outside in the garden,

   Our imagination is king,

   Lifelong learning it has to stay,

   Make Parkside Pre-School your place to play.

Stephen Ritchie, General Manager gave a moving account of the activities and progress being made with our Residents. This was followed by a brief awards ceremony where the following residents were honoured for their excellence, included were:

Elijah Dixon for Commitment to Employment

George Templeton for Positive Engagement, George also produced a video of some of his amazing boarding and parkour activity, he is a very talented young man, sadly our technology let us down and the video wouldn't play.  Keep an eye out and we will link it here and in our Twitter and FB feeds.

Rebecca Mortimer - Positive Engagement

Alex Harvey - Commitment to Education and Training, Alex was our 'very honest resident' , who very recently found and returned £100.

Aziz Jabarkhail - Commitment to Education & Training

Neelam Saghir - Positive Parenting 

And two others that prefer to remain anonymous including one for Commitment to Education and Training and 1 for our Most Improved Resident.

Parkside Cafe Manager Jennie Jewell spoke up about the trials and tribulations of keeping the Cafe afloat without any grant funding stressing the importance of our local supporters who come to the Cafe on a regular basis. She then opened the doors of the Cafe to all participants for cake and coffee after the even.  Refreshments were generously funded by our President Bill Pocock and his wife Eileen.

Our AGM is always a very social event, do keep an eye out, we will set a date shortly for next year.  You are welcome to join us.