For the first time ever the YMCA’s extensive Greenhill residential facilities in Newcastle, County Down will be available to the general public to book.
Prior to the Covid 19 outbreak, the national YMCA centre was only available to YMCA young people and community groups. But due to the restrictions on school and youth group residentials, it has cabins, chalets, and a guest house which can now be booked by families for a short time.
Centre manager at Greenhill, Kenny Baxter, said the work of the YMCA continues to be to support vulnerable young people as a core part of its mission, but now we have the opportunity to welcome families to our beautiful site on the side of the Mournes..
“We have a range of self-catering accommodation that is used and enjoyed by 10,000 young people every year,” he explained.
“While that outdoor learning experience is part of our essential work that we hope to return to very soon, we are delighted to be able to offer the accommodation sited in beautiful surroundings to another audience.”
In Donard Forest Park, Greenhill has five cabins that would be the perfect location for a family staycation, and two large chalets ideal for groups such as walkers or cyclists.
“Greenhill is more than just accommodation, there are always a diverse group of volunteers here to welcome you,” said Kenny.
“Opening up to the public and enabling them to experience what we have on offer is a key part of this move.
“Our mission is to develop a society where children and young people can freely explore, learn and develop. Making our facilities open to the public will allow us to make sure our excellent facilities are used for the benefit of young people in the future.”
Any revenue generated will be ploughed back into Greenhill to help us through these difficult times to return back to doing the work that we have been doing on this site for many years.
Over the recent lockdown period staff and volunteers provided support for young people with significant additional needs, delivered food parcels in the community, and engaged in online youth work support with local and international young people.
To find out more, or to book one of the facilities at Greenhill visit greenhill-ymca.org