What’s happened since the launch of the ‘Changing Young Lives’ appeal?

You might be wondering how the ‘Changing Young Lives’ appeal has been progressing since our launch in May 2017. If you have not been following our appeal here’s what you need to know; fundraising events are being held at YMCA centres across Fylde, Wyre and Cumbria, the appeal aims to raise £100,000 of the £500,000 needed to begin building the School Facility at YMCA Lakeside. A complete transformation is envisioned for the centre and we need your help to achieve our vision.

We believe that by building a School facility the YMCA will be able to continue changing young people’s lives through outdoor education an experience that they cannot get in mainstream educational settings. Learn more about the impact of YMCA Lakeside on children and young people by clicking here.

How has the public reacted to our appeal?

The response of the public to our appeal has been hugely encouraging. We have received a grand total of £1630 in public donations through Justgiving and our other ways to donate.

If you would like to donate directly to our appeal click here.


Learn more about fundraising events held across Fylde, Wyre and Cumbria that raised funds our appeal in the past three months

YMCA Poulton Phil Versus Phil Challenge

YMCA Poulton organised the Phil Versus Phil challenge, the event was a week long series of gym challenges. Two teams were drawn together randomly from entrants and they had to complete a series of random challenges and beat the other teams time. The event encouraged people to get active while raising £116 for the appeal, bringing us a step closer to achieving our target.

YMCA Lakeside Lectures

Two of YMCA Lakesides respected instructors gave lectures and held a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses. Fiona Weatherall spoke of her experience sea kayaking around New Zealand’s North Island and Mike Margeson spoke of his experience high altitude climbing with teenagers in Bolivia, the lectures had a great response and turnout. The YMCA Lakeside team raised £900 for the appeal a fantastic achievement and we would like to thank our speakers for sharing their experiences.


Zumba enthusiasts did what they do best by moving, dancing and raising funds at the Zumbathon held at YMCA St. Annes. The event was very successful due to the hard work of our Zumba instructors, a high turnout and lots of fun was had. The event raised over £1000 from ticket sales and a raffle with prizes kindly donated by local businesses. The funds were split between the ‘Changing Young Lives’ appeal and the R.N.L.I Shannon appeal with £526 being donated to each.

In the past three months we have raised £3,172 for the ‘Changing Young Lives’ appeal.

You may be asking yourself ‘how can I get involved?’

Look no further, the ‘Changing Young Lives’ appeal has an ambitious target of £100,000 raised from public donations and fundraising events because we believe in the value of outdoor education for young people across the North West.

Take a look at the get involved section of our website for ways you can get involved in the appeal such as, becoming a fundraiser, donating to the appeal through Justgiving, donating your time at one of our events, promoting our events at your workplace or attending one or all of our events!

Our Design Team has been Appointed

Cassidy & Ashton have been appointed to act as the lead consultant overseeing the final design and building phase of the £6.8 million Lakeside redevelopment project. The team from Preston will work with quantity surveyors Thornber & Walker, services consultants Beech Jackson Partnership and structural and civil consultant Curtins Consulting Ltd to ensure that the project is successfully completed by the end of March 2019.

Detailed plans will now be developed with a view to appointing a building contractor in October  and building expected to commence on site in January next year.

Alistair Baines Chairman of Cassidy & Ashton commented  

‘We are delighted to be involved in this very exciting project in what can only be described as a beautiful  location on the shores of Lake Windermere  at the heart of the National Park. We fully appreciate the importance of this project to the YMCA going forward and  are proud to be involved in helping to deliver a significant development of the Lakeside centre  that will undoubtedly provide long term, sustainable facilities for the Trust..

John Cronin CEO of YMCA Fylde Coast stated

‘We have worked hard to get to this stage of the project so this appointment was extremely important for us to ensure we can actually build this amazing new facility that will impact on the lives of 10,000 young people every year. We were impressed with all aspects of the Cassidy & Ashton proposal and we are looking forward to working with them and the wider design team.’     

The YMCA launched their ‘Changing Young Lives’ appeal on 3 May to raise the final £500,000 needed to reach the fundraising target of £6.8 million.

Below is an example of their work on Bolton School 6th Form Centre ‘The Riley Centre’ Opened August 2015

Launch of YMCA Lakeside School Facility ‘Changing Young Lives’ Appeal

The launch of a public fundraising appeal to create a new state of the art school facility at YMCA Lakeside, at a cost of £6.8M, took place on Wednesday 3 May 2017  at YMCA Lakeside, Newby Bridge.

Guests including The High Sheriff of Cumbria, Mr Alistair Wannop and representatives of local companies and the civic community were welcomed by Brian Barden, Chairman of YMCA Lakeside Sub Committee to the event where they heard more about the Lakeside redevelopment plans and about the impact the day and residential programmes have on the lives of the 7000 children and young people who currently visit YMCA Lakeside each year.

Guests were then invited to tour the site of one of the largest professional outdoor activity centres in the country where they saw schoolchildren from Dowdales School, Dalton in Furness, undertaking an obstacle course, zip wire and crate stack activity.

Guests then gathered in front of the jetty where schoolchildren from Greengate Junior School, Barrow in Furness handed a flag to the President of YMCA Fylde Coast Ian Paterson and Chief Executive John Cronin who then declared the fundraising appeal formally launched by the raising of the flag and cutting of a ribbon.

Thanks to those attending were expressed by Sam Rayner, Chairman Lakeland and a member of YMCA Lakeside Sub Committee who urged those present to consider ways in which they could support the fundraising appeal for the outstanding £500,000 and in doing so ‘ to join us in the future in seeing the new YMCA Lakeside School facility built and being enjoyed by thousands more young people’.

For more information on how you can help support the YMCA Lakeside School Facility ‘Changing Young Lives’ Appeal. Please visit www.supportlakeside.org.uk email: info@supportlakeside.org.uk or telephone 01253 893928

Sam Rayner 'Join us in the future in seeing the new YMCA Lakeside School facility built and being enjoyed by thousands more young people’

New floating jetty for Lakeside

Work on the construction of a new floating jetty on the western shore of Windermere at Lakeside was completed at the end of August 2015. The new 37 metre facility was installed by Dutch-based marine experts Orsta Marina Limited alongside local company Jetties and Moorings.

It is another key infrastructure project supported through the GoLakes Travel programme designed to add to the world-class visitor experience on Windermere and to encourage car-free travel.  The new facility has been designed to accommodate private boat users and passenger-carrying vessels, making scheduled passenger services from the new facility possible in the future.

John Cronin CEO spoke of how pleased the YMCA were that Lakeside has been chosen as a location for another new jetty and that for the first time in its 60 year history the public will be able to access the centre from the lake. And of course, the addition of the jetty also supports our ambitious plans to redevelop the centre so this partnership is a real win-win for all concerned.

What’s Been Happening Since the Planners Said Yes?

It seems like such a long time ago that we first received planning permission from the Lake District National Park giving us the go ahead to achieve our vision to create a new School and Youth Facility onsite at Lakeside.

So what have we been doing so far to ensure that we reach our £6 million funding goal before the planning permission expires in 2017? Here’s a quick summary of what’s happened in 2015. We have:

  • recruited a Project Manager responsible for developing the Funding Strategy, undertaking research and consultation and completing funding applications
  • developed a Funding Strategy in partnership with YMCA England outlining our fund raising approach, identifying first, second and third tier donor and grant making prospects and providing a clear timeline for achieving our goal
  • tapped into the skills, knowledge and connections of our local Lakeside Sub-Committee to identify key influencers and to make connections and introductions with people and organisations in a position to help us
  • undertaken research with young people to evaluate the impact of our provision and to provide evidence of the need for it to continue for future generations
  • designed and developed our Case for Support document – Support the Lakeside Project providing lots of facts and figures about Lakeside and the need for redevelopment of our current facilities
  • secured a £1million lead donor pledge following on from a successful on-site visit to Lakeside
  • started to submit applications to grant and trust funds that actively support youth projects – from this we have had our first success having applied to the Sir John Fisher Foundation and subsequently been offered a grant from them of £250,000
  • developed our dedicated Support the Lakeside Project website, facebook page and twitter account making sure we can keep everyone up to date with where we are up to

It’s been an amazing start and one we are determined to build on in 2016. Once we have achieved 80% towards our goal we will be officially going out to a public fundraising campaign. In the meantime there are various ways you can support us, whether by sharing your Lakeside stories or by making an early donation.