Welcome to YMCA Ireland's Review of 2017

“The universe is expanding at an incredible rate, and the greatest scientists know not why. 'How rare and beautiful it is to even exist”- I am deeply moved by those words, sung by Sleeping at Last in their song Saturn.

As I reflect on another tireless year of service and commitment by many individuals that make up our movement, my mind wanders to all the various significant moments that make up a year.

For some, their universe is expanding, taking opportunities to participate in YMCA programmes that have led them to new discoveries about themselves and the world; new friendships and connections that would not have come into being without the YMCA.

For others, it feels like their universe has imploded, disappointment, crisis, loss, hurt, and the YMCA has been a place of refuge and hope, of rebuilding and new beginnings.

The reality for many is a crashing of expanding and imploding moments, perhaps all within the same day, perhaps all before breakfast. The YMCA is a community, a family, where we collectively seek the flourishing of our wider communities, of those we engage with day to day, and of each other, amidst all else occurring in our world.

A year comes with many endings and many beginnings. Many staff have moved on to new things and new staff have begun. Many young people, children, adults and families have completed projects and new projects have begun. At the end of this year we celebrate the cycle of beginnings and endings and new beginnings and all that has been achieved, learned, initiated, created, and transformed.

I want to highlight particularly the ending of Stephen Turner's tenure and how he so faithfully led the organisation as National Secretary over the past 25 years. I could not write enough about Stephen's contribution to YMCA Ireland and many have their own powerful memories and appreciation of his leadership. Following that it has been good to have Ivan McMahon step up to the position of National Secretary and John Peacock's appointment as Deputy National Secretary. YMCA Ireland has a strong and dynamic staff team leading the organisation into the future.

We hope that as you read these pages, you will be inspired by the ways in which YMCA programmes across the length and breadth of this country are helping people to grow in confidence and helping to equip them to become active in their own communities.

Andy Hamilton

President



YMCA Ireland

National Council of YMCAs Ireland Ltd

(incorporating National Council of Ireland YMCA Trust)

National Centre Greenhill YMCA

Donard Park Newcastle BT33 0GR

Company No NI 15660

Charity Numbers XN45820 (NI) & 20026585 (ROI)