Brighton YMCA’s active, warm and healthy winter roundup

Brighton YMCA staff and clients have joined forces with local services, charities and businesses to help our clients stay warm, active and healthy this winter. From gardening, home made soups, fresh smoothies, sewing and mindfulness taster sessions, the various events and activities on offer are too tempting to resist!


George Williams Mews hosted a detox smoothie event, which included a mindfulness taster session from SPIN; a community based resettlement hub; and a well-being day where local services and organisations were invited to offer information and support to anyone who needed it. Clients got stuck-in helping to set up the events from making the food to preparing the tables and chairs.


At Stanley Court, Ruth, from the Organic gardening Group provided gardening tips and advise, and talked about the benefits of organic gardening, the use of natural products to combat pests, and how to attract bees and wildlife. The Capris Club (peer-led on-site gardening group) were commended for maintaining the ivy hedge; a safe haven for wildlife. Monika has been running weekly home-made soup days to ensure everyone gets enough vitamins, minerals and warm healthy food during the cold months! A small amount of money was invested in essential cooking equipment and food safety training, and the impact has been huge. Now, every week, residents can enjoy some freshly made warm yummy soup and bread together with the recipe to encourage people to give it go themselves – go-on, its souper-easy!!. So far residents have enjoyed leek and potato, tomato and basil, and butternut squash with coconut milk and chilli; what next we wonder?! Most of the ingredients are kindly donated – Thank you to the local fruit and vegetable shop – the Turkish Food Market, and Fareshare.


Every Month, community gardener, Rosie, visits Fred Emery Court to help out with the development of the garden. Last month  resident, Andrew Weatherill, volunteered some of his time to work with Rosie in Stamner Park, a large open park situated at the north-east of Brighton, where volunteers and vulnerable adults come together in a mutually supportive group to prepare beds, sow, plant and learn about growing fruit and veg, as well as enjoy picnics and BBQ’s!


William Collier House has started to run a monthly Sewing Workshop for Women, to learn how to make soft furnishings and garments such as the beautiful cushion cover in the photograph! Everyone who attends receives a goody bag donated by St Peters Church, full of beauty items. The workshops are still in early days, but it is hoped that they will develop into a broader support provision for women living in Brighton YMCA accommodation in the future.