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Town YMCA leads the way at awards night

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

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BURTON YMCA has won four awards in recognition of the work that it undertakes with the local community and further afield.

At an annual meeting of the Midlands Region YMCAs in Lincoln, the Burton group was awarded International Development Award, Youth Participation Award, Outstanding Contribution Award and Most Involved YMCA Award for 2012.

Recipients of the awards are nominated and agreed by young people who use the services of YMCAs across the Midlands.

They are considered on an anonymous basis to ensure that the results are as objective as possible.

Paul Laffey, chief executive at Burton YMCA, said: “It is really very pleasing to be recognised in this way, especially when the awards are decided by the young people who are the very reason why we exist.

“Of course, these awards are not just for the team who work at the YMCA here but all of the people of Burton and the surrounding area who help us and surprise us with their generosity every day of every week all through the year.

“These include our large number of volunteers, the fund-raisers who make our work possible, our friends in the local news press who publicise the work that we do and many, many others. Our sincere thanks go to all of you.” Burton YMCA has been in the news recently with its annual sleep-out which raised thousands of pounds for the town’s homeless after people volunteered to sleep rough for a night last month at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium.

The annual event saw 110 people, the youngest of whom was 11, sleep in cardboard boxes in a tunnel behind the away stand.

A make-shift soup kitchen was set up to feed the participants and a Zumba class was held at midnight.

Participants included Burton MP Andrew Griffiths, Burton Albion chairman and Burton YMCA president Ben Robinson, and teams of employees from organisations including Thomas Alleyne School in Uttoxeter, Holy Trinity Primary School in Burton, the Drakelow-based Roger Bullivant engineering firm and the Waterstone’s distribution centre in Burton’s Centrum 100 business park.

The sleep-out was originally set up four years ago to raise funds to open the Reconnect Centre, in James Street, which is now providing training to help the homeless get off the streets.

Other events include a ‘sleepwalk’ in Swadlincote in September where more than 50 people donned their pyjamas for a walk around the town.

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