Two YMCA branches have merged to create a strong charitable organisation delivering services across Sussex and Surrey to more than 10,000 young people.
Sussex Central YMCA, which owns the Y-Centre youth hostel in Horsham, has merged with Guildford YMCA to create YMCA DownsLink Group.
Directors say the merger has created a stronger and more robust organisation that can offer extended and improved services to children, young people and their families.
David Standing, chief executive officer for the new group said: “This merger provides an exciting opportunity to bring together two strong YMCAs, enabling us to increase the scope and range of services we offer young people who may need support and help to deal with problems they are facing.
“We will keep our local focus, working closely with local authorities, NHS partners and other voluntary organisations.”
Ray Dawe, leader of the Horsham District Council, which works with the YMCA to support young people, added: “We believe the merger with Guildford will help Sussex Central YMCA improve its offer to our local community as YMCA DownsLink Group, and we look forward to new partnership opportunities in the future.”
Whilst focusing on young people experiencing problems of one sort or another, YMCA DownsLink Group believes all young people deserve good services that meet their needs.
The charity will actively involve young people and their families in the design, delivery and assessment of their services.
Operating across the three counties of East Sussex, West Sussex and Surrey, YMCA DownsLink Group will support more than 10,000 young people each year.
In Horsham, the Y Centre has 48 rooms where young people can stay at the Y Centre for up to two years. YMCA DownsLink Group is committed to retaining local identities and maintaining current relationships and partnerships.
The new organisation will continue to deliver its services from key centres in five locations – Brighton and Hove, Guildford, Lewes, Horsham and Crawley.