GUEST SPEAKER: Rachel Dyne, of YMCA Teesdale
GUEST SPEAKER: Rachel Dyne, of YMCA Teesdale

MEMBERS of Teesdale Business Networking group met for their first event of the new year at Enterprise House, in Barnard Castle, when guest speaker was Rachel Dyne, operations director at YMCA Teesdale.

Ms Dyne highlighted the work the YMCA does in the dale, running a community cafe in Cockfield, and youth clubs in Evenwood and Barnard Castle. She said Teesdale was one area where most people were aware of what the YMCA was and stood for given the long history.

She explained at present the charity relies on funding from various bodies but hopes to get more businesses interested in entering partnership arrangements.

Ms Dyne added she’d met Enterprise House’s Emma King at a sponsored walk organised by networking member Andrew Bartlett.

She said: “We met when we did a walk from Bishop Auckland to Durham to raise money for open water safety training, it didn’t cost Andrew’s business anything to organise as it was done through a travel app.

“At the moment we have looked at partnerships and have tried a number of things. We are working with a cleaning company and other charitable organisations. In various different ways.”

She explained several companies in the dale had already helped the YMCA. She said: “We had a plumber carry out a boiler service for free for us and that was a good saving. Teesdale Fire and Safety gave us a fire extinguisher.

“Supporting YMCA isn’t just about giving money, but volunteering.

“If you can save a charity money like this then it really makes a difference.

“Together the money we saved not having to pay out for these essentials is the same as paying a youth worker for ten hours.”