Make a real difference to a million more lives at Lakeside
With your support we can create a brand new facility for children and young people to enjoy and learn from Lakeside’s outdoor activities at a total cost of £6.8 million.
Lakeside started to suffer financially as far back as the late 1990’s due to a lack of capital funds available for investment in the infrastructure of the site and high operational costs. By 2008 the situation had reached such a critical level that the management of the centre was outsourced from its then owners, YMCA England to YMCA Fylde Coast.
In 2011, YMCA Fylde Coast took on full ownership of Lakeside and established the local Sub- Committee made up of people who not only have the relevant knowledge and expertise but also who are living and working in Cumbria and subsequently have a vested interest in ensuring the financial sustainability of the centre. Through a reduction in spending, undertaking only essential repairs and rationalising areas of delivery, and with the guidance of the Sub-Committee members,we have successfully reduced the financial losses.
We have now reached a point where the centre is year on year proving to be sustainable with annual revenue covering our expenditure levels. However, our financial challenges are on-going and the strategies we have put in place to balance the books are a short term fix.
Many of our buildings have now been in continual use since the early 1950s. Whilst our maintenance team works hard to keep standards high, the reality is that the majority need to be replaced. Without a complete transformation of our existing facilities, Lakeside will not be financially secure into the future and would be forced to close, resulting in a significant loss for the local economy and for the many local communities in Cumbria that benefit from coming here.
Set on the shore of Lake Windermere, Lakeside is one of the largest professional outdoor activity centres in the country. We work with schools, youth groups, families and businesses, providing high quality residential and day experiences, all designed to inspire young people to grow in body, mind and spirit.
We are here for all young people, but our particular focus is to provide life changing experiences for those who have a greater struggle to succeed in life, whether because they live in deprived areas, find school difficult, have started to get into trouble or suffered personal tragedies.
In our beautiful natural environment, we take children and young people often from urban and inner city surroundings and provide them with a wide range of fun and exciting outdoor activities –
– from canoeing to sailing to rock climbing to abseiling to speedily zipping down a wire over the Lake’s waters.
Through our outdoor challenges we are able to test leadership, communication and problem solving skills as well as ways of looking at resolving conflict, making decisions and working as a team. Most importantly we help young people learn from both success and failure!
Across our North and South Camps, Lakeside can accommodate up to 553 people (including staff) in lodges, dormitories, chalets and a tented village. In addition, on site we also have several catering facilities, 6 conference and venue facilities, a chapel, office accommodation and various other ancillary building’s that support the operation of the centre.