Introducing our new Senior Youth Worker: Ricky Murray

The YMCA is delighted to announce the appointment of Ricky Murray as our new Senior Youth Worker. With an extensive background in youth development and community engagement, Ricky brings a wealth of experience and a deep passion for empowering young people.

Ricky joins YMCA Northumberland with a lifetime of experience in youth work and community service. Previously, Ricky attended Pennywell Youth Club as a young boy and a few years later he attended his dad’s youth project based around music. From the age of 25, Ricky decided to train and obtain his level 2 and 3 NVQ qualification and has since worked with several notable organisations, mainly focused on music with young people. His expertise spans mentoring, programme development, and community outreach, making him a perfect fit for the YMCA’s mission.

“To this day, I remember the impact of youth workers, especially one in particular because he was a local lad who had been into bother when he was younger and therefore, he was able to apply a level of empathy to his practice that benefited me.” – Ricky Murray

After being made redundant from his last job, Ricky decided to try something new and joined the constructive industry for 10 months. Although he enjoyed the practical nature and the break from screen time, he got to see firsthand across the UK the level of homelessness and drug use around cities which made him realise that he liked that he used to be part of an industry that wanted to affect change and that he had the skill that should not be wasted.

In his new role, Ricky is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for all young people. He plans to support the Youth Work team in their delivery and ensure that they have the skills and knowledge needed not just to prepare good, fun-filled, and educational sessions, but to be able to identify specific outcomes we are looking to achieve with each session and also to be able to gather the data and information to help enable funding bids to expand our offer to young people further.

Ricky is dedicated to making a positive impact on the community. He has spent the start of his time here sitting back to learn from the existing staff and young people, but being visible for them to know he is here too.

“Providing a supportive environment for young people is key to rapport building. Allowing young people the space to express themselves and recognising that each young person is different allows me to apply different levels of support as and when needed. As a team, we aim to provide empowerment platforms for young people to use, should they wish to.” – Ricky Murray

It can be difficult to plan a strategy for younger people who live freely, so much so that they don’t know what they could do next week. Ricky believes that as a youth team, we can create an offer that provides flexibility and also a level of support that can be used as and when needed. Guidance and understanding change all of the time so the team needs to be active in the desire to provide the best support we can to all young people.

Ricky also believes the YMCA is set apart from other organisations that serve young people because the YMCA is built on and operates with an ethos of providing opportunities for young people to be all that they can be. The YMCA has a long history of success and strives to make positive changes in the world.

We asked Ricky what advice he would give to someone new to the field of youth work, specifically within the context of the YMCA, this is what he said:

“I can’t think of a better place to cut your teeth in youth work. The vast array of different approaches across the YMCA network and also the clear focus on developing youth workers is evident every day. Leadership starts at any level and being part of a small team that itself is part of an international network is refreshing as it provides a multi-layered level of support as well as endless possibilities.”

YMCA Northumberland is thrilled to have Ricky Murray as our new Senior Youth Worker. With his passion and expertise, we are confident that he will make a significant difference in the lives of the young people we serve. Please join us in welcoming Ricky to the YMCA family.




YMCA Northumberland

North View, Ashington, Northumberland NE63 9XQ

Registered Charity No: 1076157

YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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