Welcome to the Christchurch YMCA
April Health & Fitness Newsletter
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Demolition Recycled for Posterity – George Williams House
The YMCA of Christchurch has been providing a range of community programmes in the CBD for 151 years. One particular aspect of this legacy was George Williams House which provided low-income housing for single men for many decades.
On February 22 2011 38 men were evacuated when the earthquake struck, and were never to return. For 28 of these people, this had been a long term home – some had lived there for over 20 years. Williams House met a social housing need in a way that was at that time unique in Christchurch. Three years post-quake, social housing options – particularly in the central city area – are even more lacking.
The YMCA provided post quake support for the majority of these men who were moved from the Hagley Park temporary welfare tent to various other welfare centres around the city and Rangiora for many months. Gradually, Williams House refugees found other places to call home. Their story is similar to so many other Christchurch people who lived in the central city, and resonates with other cities and communities around the world who have been devastated by similar events which displace people and families.
At it’s heart, what Williams House provided to these residents is central to YMCA mission and purpose the world over. The building was demolished due to a lack of confidence in it’s ability to withstand and survive future quakes.
On Friday the 21st of February the YMCA held a remembrance function which honours what this piece of Christchurch architecture provided for hundreds of men over the decades. As highlight of this event was the unveiling of a seat which will be permanently situated in the YMCA N Rudkin courtyard on Hereford Street. The seat is predominantly made of material from Williams House rubble by a YMCA volunteer, Clare Docherty, and her friends.
Opawa St Martins Plunket Toy Library
The Opawa St Martins Plunket Toy Library has recently relocated to the City Y, in squash court 6. Badly affected by the earthquakes, this is the 5th time the Toy Library has had to find a new home since September 2010. They are working with the council to eventually get back into their catchment area, but in the mean time they are able to continue operating for their members here at the Y!
They are open Friday morning 9:30am-11:30am, Saturday 9:30am-3pm and Tuesday evening 7pm-8:30pm. So pop in and check out their wonderful array of toys, DVDs, puzzles and games – and sign up!
YMCA Gymnastics Parties
We just want to remind you that we host gymnastics themed birthday parties at the Bishopdale Recreation Centre! So if you are looking for something different to keep your special birthday person and all their friends happy, look no further than the Y!! Phone 359 8320 now to make a booking.
- YMCA Gift Giving
Do you feel like you are going through the motions buying unappreciated gifts for family and friends? How about making a meaningful gift for a disadvantaged student, a child in need or an adult living with an intellectual disability instead?
By making a donation of $25, $50 or $100 in the name of a friend or family member, you can choose one of four community programmes to support on their behalf, and you will receive a gift card to send to them. The card will tell them a donation has been made on their behalf and there is room inside for you to write your own personal message.
Click here for more information and to purchase online, or pop into the City Y or Bishopdale Recreation Centre to pick one up there. One card per donation.
Click here to see the exciting events planned for 2014, including: