New manager for YMCA HB after school and holiday care

Press Release – YMCA

Sarah Gray is now ‘Mum’ to hundreds of Hawke’s Bay children. Ms Gray has been appointed to head up YMCA Hawke’s Bay’s seven after school and sixteen holiday programmes that provide educational and recreational opportunities for the region’s …28 October 2011

New manager for YMCA HB after school and holiday care

Sarah Gray is now ‘Mum’ to hundreds of Hawke’s Bay children.

Ms Gray has been appointed to head up YMCA Hawke’s Bay’s seven after school and sixteen holiday programmes that provide educational and recreational opportunities for the region’s children.

With nearly 20 years in management and administration of local private and corporate child and healthcare organisations, including Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, Ms Gray believes the not-for-profit organisation provides a valuable community service.

“Parents who find they need to work have access to a top quality service that is definitely not a drop off and pick up crèche. In fact, the educational and recreational opportunities the kids get are often beyond what families would be able to afford,” Ms Gray says.

Ms Gray started immediately before October school holidays and hit the ground running. She says she was impressed with the success of the various programmes, citing the Hastings youth programme in particular. “The youth (aged between 11 and 15) planned their own activities and the feedback is that they had an awesome time. They went surfing, tramped to Sunrise Hut, went to Choices gym and played paint ball to name just a few. The numbers kept growing as the weeks went on and word got around.”

Ms Gray is keen to get more community involvement into the programmes so that they better meet the needs of the families. “YMCA is good at what it does, but there is always room to improve and support parents and children even better.”

YMCA in Hawke’s Bay provides after-school programmes at primary schools and its own centres in Hastings and Napier and caters for more than 200 children daily. Holiday programmes run for 11 weeks of the year with close to 400 children taking part in specialised arts and crafts, camping, youth and motocross activities, plus general activity programmes. All provide alternate days on and off site with the latter including trips to the movies, swimming pools, and sporting activities.

Ms Gray took over from Theo Ursum who has moved to Tauranga’s YMCA as operations manager.

ENDS

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