Virtual Y

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, YMCA Victoria launched Virtual Y, an online platform to support the health and wellbeing of young people during lockdown. We wanted to give our young people and communities access to the services we no longer could provide face-to-face.

We’re proud to report that Virtual Y has thrived this past year, with many people turning to it as a way to stay active through the continued lockdowns of 2021.

Virtual Y has supported over 100,000 people to keep engaged and connected to the Y.

More specifically, in the past year, Virtual Y has been:

  • visited 181,190 times; by 103,061 people;
  • 10,945 people registered as users;
  • who collectively spent 12,648 hours engaging with content on the platform.

By offering fitness, nutrition, wellness, family, education and youth resources, we’ve been able to meet the needs of a wide variety of people, especially young people who this pandemic has been especially hard for. This is why we partnered with VicHealth to produce the CoDesign series, which features content for young people that is relevant and tackles pertinent topics. This content was created for 12-25 year olds and covered topics such as mental health, gender equality and consent.

What are the principles of consent?

Our fitness content proved to be the most popular, since the recreation centres we manage have been closed for the majority of the past year. We’re thrilled to be able to support our recreation members with quality content, free of charge, during this time of hardship for many. Our most popular content included 'Strength & Cardio' and 'Yoga & Meditation', with 130 users tuning into Alison's Yoga & Meditation classes.

The continued success of Virtual Y resulted in a $500,000 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services to go towards improving youth mental health. We plan to use this additional funding to amplify our Youth Voice platform, which gives young people a safe space to express themselves, engage in the community, share lived experiences and learn from each other.

We hope to continue to expand and evolve Virtual Y over the next year to benefit all of our customers across Victoria.

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