YMCA collaborate on an international scale

Healthy living on a global scale took place at the recent YMCA Europe General Assembly.

And YMCA Calgary was at the forefront of discussion with Vice President Health and Wellness Shannon Doram attending for the first time to speak at the conference. YMCA Calgary is certainly no stranger to collaborative working on an international level, with partners in Ukraine, Bogota, and Mexico. This annual conference gives YMCA delegates from around the world the opportunity to share their experiences and learn.

The conference, held in Manchester, England, was created with the theme of healthy living. Under this theme were three the separate streams of physical health, mental health and spiritual health.

As keynote speaker for the physical health stream, Shannon shared with the conference the lessons YMCA Calgary had learnt about building capacity at the Y and the opportunities to help people improve their health.

She said: “It was a great chance to connect with our European friends in the Y and to continue to have the collaboration there and open the doors for new ways of thinking and working with our individual colleagues.”

The audience came from varied backgrounds, some where staff are paid, or, conversely, where all staff are volunteers. Shannon explained this made for some interesting discussions and viewpoints.

Shannon explained all representatives shared a strong commitment to improving the socio-economic factors which affected the health and wellbeing of their community.

She added: “I am excited for this connection. In 2014 we will be working with the Y in Ukraine on some healthy living training. And I am hoping to do all I can to leverage the expertise and experience we have to support the work going on in Europe.”