Project information

Newcastle YMCA - digital era

The aims of the project are;
To extend our ability to deliver services beyond our physical boundaries and promote our activities and services through Social media and the Internet.
To reduce the skills gap of socially excluded young people living in the deprived communities of Byker and Walker

April 2011 - March 2012

Charity information: YMCA Newcastle

YMCA Newcastle logo
  • Need


    Most young people communicate using mobile and cloud based applications. They create social networks, make friends, find out what’s on, access services, arrange activities and share creative art whist on the move. Schools, libraries, café’s, wifi hotspots and 3g enabled phones allow them to access their virtual world.
    Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t have access to this technology, increasing their social exclusion, the skills gap and distance they are from the labour market.


    By allowing them access to technology and teaching them how to get the best out of the technology available to them this project will give them;
    a place they can belong to
    a community which they have built up and contributed towards
    the chance to make friends with other young people, not just from the local community but also from a larger global community
    a platform to exhibit their creative media.
    It will also allow Newcastle YMCA to provide higher quality services to more young people.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    The Creation of a subscribers group and online forum at Newcastle YMCA.


    » Set up subscribers group and online forum
    » Increase staff skills in, digital technology, social media and online child protection
    » run training sessions for young people on digital technology, social media and set up individual accounts
    » run activities to create content and develop young peoples skills. Monitor and manage the content

    What success will look like

    Success will be 40 young people making weekly posts in the forum and on the social network

    Aim 2

    Upgrade existing computer suites and add more computers in order to cope with additional users.


    » upgrade hardware the existing hardware in both existing IT suites
    » upgrade existing software to ensure child protection, virus protection and a first rate user experience
    » upgrade furniture to meet Health and Safety legislation standards
    » market new resources to young people to ensure the uptake maximises the increased capacity

    What success will look like

    Success will be a high tech computer suit that is able to meet user demand, maintains user safety and is relaible

    Aim 3

    Link with overseas YMCAs to develop a digital partnership and create an exchange programme.


    » Identify participating YMCAs and agree protocols
    » set up weekly news blog to exchange content
    » set up live video chat and online gaming
    » work towards funding a one week residential exchange visit

    What success will look like

    Success will be regular communicating with 2 YMCAs abroad and a visit to one of them

  • Impact


    The project will enable socially excluded young people to develop the skills required to participate in the modern technology driven world allowing them to participate as access to it becomes more freely available to them.

    This will be demonstrated by;

    Monitoring the number of users, frequency ad volume of posting and activity

    Monitoring the quality of content

    Regular communication with YMCAs abroad that results in an exchange visit


    Lack of take up by young people; we are only aiming to engage a quarter of the young people who currently access our service.

    Accessing inappropriate material; we will use staff training, supervision and software to prevent access to inappropriate sites. We will build a routine of daily and weekly checks by staff

    Cyberbulling; we will implement staff training and procedures for reporting. We will create a culture of reporting incidents and a process and procedure that supports the culture


    We will write an evaluation plan before the start of the programme identifying baseline data, milestones, expanding the aims into outcomes.

    We will identify key monitoring points and gather quantitative and qualitative data to present in report format at the midway and end points of the project

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £33,962

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,531 Equipment 4 new pcs, 2 Sansung Galaxy tabs, ceiling projector mount
      £20,202 Salaries 4 Supervising youth workers 1 day per week
      £8,000 Exchange visit Small group exchange to participating YMCA
      £3,229 Management costs 8% management and admin costs and £1,000 staff training

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Newcastle YMCA investment property income £25,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The Walker and Byker wards of the City rank in the top 10% most deprived areas in England, they have the lowest average household incomes in the Tyne and Wear city region. The number of young people not in education training or employment is the highest in Tyne & Wear at 10%
    Persistent absence from the 3 local secondary schools is approximately 10% (about 250 pupils per day).
    Once the home of thriving heavy industry now many households are experiencing the 3rd generation of worklesness


    Young People aged 13 -25 from socially excluded and deprived households who are not in employment education or training or are at risk of exclusion.

    These young people not only live in financial poverty but have a poverty of aspiration and see no future for themselves. This is reinforced by their community, families, peers and the mass media. This project will open a whole new world and enable then to experience a new way of communicating, new experiences, make new peers and friends.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Newcastle YMCA is the largest of 3 organisations providing services to young people in the area and has been doing so for for 25 years. Consequently they are well known and trusted by the community.

    Additionally the Association has an excellent track record of project delivery and managing the challenging behaviour of young people. This was recognised this year when were awarded the YMCA National Youth Worker of the year, North East Region Youth Worker and Volunteer of the year awards

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Jeff Hurst

    Jeff is the CEO and is responsible for the strategic management of the charity, he has a Law Degree and is studying for an MBA.

    Sarah Warren

    Sarah has been with the YMCA for 20 years working her way up from trainee to Youth Work Manager and is responsible for the daily operations.

    Peter Hill

    Peter is an IT Consultant specialising in charities and small business. He established the Community IT Academy and his own consultancy. He has an MBA