Group CEO Craig Berens at Malt Cross

Catena five-year contract with YMCA to boost youth careers

Young people are set to benefit from business opportunities and a mentor programme thanks to a five-year contract signed between Catena Network in Nottingham and YMCA Robin Hood Group (previously known as Nottinghamshire YMCA).

Asma Iqbal Y's Girls Mentoring Galleries of JusticeYouth Mentoring

The partnership will see business networking leader Catena host a series of business connection events at YMCA Robin Hood Group’s venues, along with a programme of separately held mentoring sessions designed to boost the social and professional skills of young people who use YMCA services.

The business networking events will take place at the YMCA Front Room @ Malt Cross heritage venue, on St James’ Street in Nottingham, with the first event being held on 31 January 2022, and the brand new YMCA Community and Activity Village in Newark.

In addition to facilitating 15 event bookings per year of the agreement across the YMCA’s various sites, the partnership will create collaborative opportunities to help tackle obstacles young people face when entering the workplace, such as overcoming low self-esteem and CV support.

Improving networking skills

Jo Bradley-Fortune, Executive Director for Funding at YMCA Robin Hood Group, said: “Through a joint goal of elevating social mobility, this fantastic collaboration will inspire mutually beneficial life and career opportunities so that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds can belong, contribute and thrive in their communities.

“The pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges for young people who are trying to break into the workplace. It is our job as a socially responsible movement to find innovative pathways that energise these demographics to access the support needed in order to fulfil their life potential.

“Catena is brilliantly placed to facilitate this as social change agents. Whether our new partnership helps to increase confidence in professional networking settings or the mentoring provides the necessary tools to boost emotional resilience – every young person should have the chance to grow into the best version of themselves they can be.”

Andy Middleton, Catena’s Regional Director in Nottinghamshire, said: “I’m delighted to mark the anniversary of my first year with Catena by entering into this partnership with YMCA Robin Hood Group.

“The two organisations have previously enjoyed a longstanding relationship but I am now looking forward to building on this foundation to further support the work YMCA does with young people and to excite them about the potential opportunities business can offer! This partnership illustrates the way Catena looks to engage with our members for mutual benefit and, from my part, I am proud to be utilising their great new facilities and sharing our skills.”

malt cross roofChanging lives

As part of the wide-reaching agreement, which features mass room hire, Catena has also agreed to a yearly fundraising target as Andy has adopted the YMCA as his nominated charity. This will benefit vulnerable young people across the region by helping to equip them to live a fulfilled and purposeful life through the YMCA’s frontline support services.

Such services range from YMCA delivering keyworker guidance through supported housing and providing 24-hour children’s residential care for at-risk young people to offering scholarship places so children from disadvantaged communities can access fun educational experiences through the charity’s day camps and childcare programmes.