YMCA Escapes

What is YMCA Escapes?

  • YMCA Escapes is a safe, inclusive and supported group travel experience for adults with extra support needs. 
  • YMCA Escapes is an extension of our hugely successful program ‘YMCA Weekend Escapes’ which has been running for over eight years.

What else does the YMCA do in the disability space?

  • YMCA Camping Adventures- an inclusive camp with a mixture of children of all abilities
  • The Disability Services (YMCA of Whittlesea team) strive to ensure that people with disabilities living within the City of Whittlesea, City of Nillumbik and surrounding suburbs are given the opportunity to participate in a variety of integrated recreation and leisure activities of their choice.
  • The Disability Services – YMCA Macey Heights, Western Leisure Care and Recreation Plus provide community services to people with a disability and their carers
  • YMCA Weekend Escapes-a camp for adults with a disability. 
  • YMCA Camp Manyung has developed a Universal Tree Top Adventure Course & Universal Bikes Program with adaptive cycles.
  • YMCA and Carers Victoria have teamed up for excursions for children with a disability! 

 Who can benefit from a YMCA Escape?

 Any person over the age of 18 that requires extra support 

    • People with intellectual disabilities, 
    • Persons with complex health needs 
    • Persons with a physical disability

 What make YMCA Escapes different from other supported travel programs/agencies?

  • YMCA is a not-for-profit charity that enables people and communities to be healthier and happier. 
  • YMCA Escape participants not only get an exceptional travel experience lead by professionally trained staff but all profits go towards improving and expanding existing YMCA community programs 

How does the YMCA Escapes offer such great prices, deliver high quality programs? 

  • Donations – as a charitable organisation we find many people are willing to donate goods or services making our tour costs typically lower than for profit travel programs. 
  • Volunteering – we have people donate their time to programs saving us on staffing costs. 
    • YMCA Victoria has 1200 volunteers and counting- about 1/3 of these sit within the Community Development Unit and Youth Services area which YMCA Escapes lies. Therefore we have people helping in every aspect of our projects from accounting to administration and by using trained/qualified volunteer support staff on tours. These savings go directly back into our charitable programs.

What are YMCA Escapes goals and where do we currently escape to?

  • In 2015 YMCA Escapes will be hitting the road and/or soaring through the air to provide participants with amazing and unique Australian group travel experiences. Our first tour will be to Canberra but we hope to offer QLD, NSW and regional Victorian experiences too! 
  • In 2016-2017 YMCA Escapes hopes to provide eco-adventure tourism opportunities (suited to those people with a physical disabilities and mild intellectual disabilities)
  • In 2016-2017 YMCA Escapes hopes to provide group international travel opportunities.

How can you help YMCA Escapes and other charitable programs? 

  • If you have skills/qualifications working with people with disabilities you could volunteer as a support person on one of our tours/ camps or recreational programs! 
  • There are many travel programs out there, encourage everyone to support those programs that give back to our community.
  • Spread the word! If you have contacts/networks in supported housing or day services or know friends or families that may benefit from YMCA Escape, let them know! 
  • Join our social media page so you can get the latest updates! 

Contact Anthea Warlond, YMCA Escapes Program Manager for more information on Phone: 03 93458004 Mobile: 0428 982280 Email: Anthea.Warlond@ymca.org.au Web: http://www.victoria.ymca.org.au/discover/community-programs/ymca-escapes...