TWO charitable groups have merged together.

YMCA North Tyneside and Teesdale YMCA Ltd officially joined forces last month following a decision to merge them in August 2017.

The charities have decided to unite as a result of a meeting of vision and sustainability across the two organisations.

Mike Way, chairman of the trustees for Teesdale said: “Putting people at the centre of our priorities, we could clearly see the positive gains of not only working in close partnership with another regional YMCA - North Tyneside - but in then formally amalgamating with them. We have done this from a position of strength and will gain added value from renewed vision, joined-up resources and shared expertise. I would encourage all small to medium-sized YMCAs to give this path serious consideration. The development has been well received by all our stakeholders - beneficiaries, staff, funders and the local community. In my view, this is definitely the way forward for the Movement."

David Hodgson MBE, chairman of YMCA North Tyneside added: "Our desire to come together as YMCAs is driven by a wish to improve and expand the work in local communities so that young people might thrive.

"We want to work together and use our shared Christian ethos, the skills and knowledge across the two YMCAs to enhance the work in each area.

"At the same time we know that the efficiencies we can gain by working together can then be invested into our services."