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NEWSLETTER: New Beginnings Project, Blackburn YMCA

Newsletter of New Beginnings Project, Blackburn YMCA. Click here or on the picture to read

Blackburn YMCA serves the asylum and refugee community in Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council.

The aim of the project is to enable the refugee community to help each other, and to settle into the life in the UK. The objective of the project is to provide the refugee community a sense of safety and belonging, and help them to integrate within the local society through empowerment.

Aftab Mughal, Co-ordinator, New Beginnings Project


Project Champions Thank Our Key Workers

The community champions from our New Beginnings Project thank our key workers in this moving video.

The aim of the New Beginnings Project is to work with the refugee & asylum community in Blackburn with Darwen to enable them to help each other to settle into life in the UK.

The members of our New Beginnings are becoming active citizens who can assist other new people to settle into life in the UK, to engage with the indigenous population as well as immigrants from other parts of Europe. The project is aiming to build the groups skills and confidence, reduce the isolation that so many refugees and asylum seekers can experience, reduce the risk of members being influenced by extremist voices, and will contribute to enhanced community cohesion.

For more information on the New Beginnings Project, visit us here



New Help Hub Offers Support to Vulnerable Residents in BwD

Hello, everyone,

We hope this email finds you healthy and well. We’re living in unprecedented times and it’s important that we follow the government’s instruction to stay at home during the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a local partner to the council, we are helping to raise awareness of information from the council about the services provided to assist vulnerable people in Blackburn with Darwen during the outbreak.

New Help Hub offers support to vulnerable residents

The Our Community, Our Future team is currently supporting the work of the new Help Hub, a support network for residents in need while isolating at home.

The BwD Help Hub can provide a range of support, from organising deliveries of food and essential supplies to vulnerable people in need, and providing information and advice, to regular telephone calls to help keep people’s spirits up during periods of isolation.

If you or anyone you know needs help during the current difficult circumstances:

–  Fill in this online form
–  Call 01254 588111 – calls are taken 9am – 5pm Mon to Fri, and 9am – 12pm Sat & Sun

A team of Council staff are assessing the needs of people getting in touch, and cases are prioritised daily before being passed on to one of four Neighbourhood Hubs in: Blackburn North, Blackburn East, Blackburn West and Darwen.

The council team are working with partners including us to support the Help Hub in a variety of roles – fromcoordinating the operation to making calls to those people who’ve asked for help, with everyone pulling together to help support our communities.

Since last Friday, food parcels are being delivered to residents in the greatest need. The parcels, which contain enough food and drink for one week, are being packed and dispatched from a new food warehouse and distribution centre set up by the Council to support vulnerable people through the current coronavirus pandemic.

Find out more about the BwD Help Hub.  

Get involved with the Help Hub through Lancashire Volunteer Partnership

Volunteers registered with the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership have been invited to get involved in the Help Hub.

The kinds of help volunteers can offer includes helping vulnerable people to get access to food and essentials, and making wellbeing phone calls to people who are isolated and lonely.

If you’d like to offer your support too, click here to register with the LVP now.

Anyone over the age of 16 in Blackburn with Darwen can register with the Lancashire Volunteer Partnership – and we need the support of volunteers more than ever right now.

Support for community groups to operate safely

We’re so lucky in Blackburn with Darwen to have lots of community groups that want to do their bit to support people through the current crisis.

It’s important to make sure that everyone is operating safely and not putting themselves or their volunteers at risk.

Community groups that are offering support to people affected by the Coronavirus pandemic are asked to register their group with Our Lancashire. It’s quick and easy to do online at

Registered groups will receive advice and guidance from the Council’s Public Health team, about working safely, minimising social contact, helping to reduce infection spread and safeguarding the most vulnerable people.

Useful sources of information

There is clear, helpful information on the NHS website about the symptoms of Coronavirus/Covid19 and the steps to take if you think you or someone you know has the virus.

Information about what the government is doing to tackle the spread of coronavirus is available on the website. This site also has updates on the number of cases and risk level in the UK.

There are also details of the local support that’s available to businesses as well as residents on the Council’s website


YMCA Blackburn Celebrates 25 Years of the National Lottery

Today is the 25th birthday of the National Lottery and is a moment to celebrate the extraordinary impact The National Lottery has had on the UK.

People across the UK will post crossed finger selfies and pics on social media to help celebrate. This is our way of saying thank you to National Lottery players for their huge contribution to charities and community groups across the UK. National Lottery players for contributing around £30 million to charities and community groups every week.

Funded by the National Lottery Community Fund our New Beginnings Project assists the refugee & asylum community in Blackburn with Darwen to enable them to help each other to settle into life in the UK. For more information, please click here

So, thank you National Lottery players, from everyone here at YMCA Blackburn #NationalLottery25



YMCA Blackburn Remembers…

On 11th November 2018, trustees, staff and volunteers attended an informal service at Blackburn Old Cemetery where they took part in the two minutes silence in respect of all those who have died in wars and conflicts. They then laid a wreath on the tomb of Mr John Hayhurst who died from injuries received whist on YMCA service in the first world war.

Thank You to The Friends of Old Blackburn Cemetery and Cemsearch for all their help and support



New Beginnings – A community day trip to Southport

On 12 August 2018, Blackburn YMCA arranged a day trip for 106 men and women, including 60 children to Southport. People from Accrington, Blackburn and Darwen enjoyed the day at the seaside. The group came from 18 different nations, from El Salvador to Thailand and from Myanmar to Morocco.


Our Firewalk was a Success

We had 4 fire walkers that took part in conquering the hot coals to raise over £1,250 for supporting the work we do.


A night to remember for YMCA Blackburn

Congratulations to Chris Seddon, Chair of YMCA Blackburn, who won the Mohammed Khan Leadership Award and Ahlam Hasan who won the Woman of the Year Award at One Voice Annual Dinner Awards Night 2017.  FIND OUT MORE

YMCA Blackburn successfully completed the NCS Pathfinder programme

YMCA Blackburn successfully completed the National Citizen Service (NCS) Pathfinder programme this Autumn. FIND OUT MORE

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