DNA is a Christian organisation that works mostly (but not exclusively) with young people to develop leadership, understanding, skills development and character. Working in partnership with like-minded faith organisations such as YMCA LSW, it provides challenging, useful and fruitful placements in a wide variety of settings.
Far more than an extended work experience opportunity, participants often describe their 11 month placements as “the best and hardest year of my life".
As a DNA partner, YMCA has welcomed several students into both its Youth and Chaplaincy teams. And both sides have benefited hugely from the experience.
If you would like to find out more about DNA, either as a potential student or partner organisation, more information may be found on their website. In the meantime, here is what DNA student Maddy had to say about her time at the YMCA:
Faith In ActionI started the DNA course in October 2010 and took up the work placement at YMCA LSW as part of my second year. I grew up in a church (Community Church, Surbiton) that has strong connections with DNA as it’s been running since the 80’s. I knew lots of people who had done the course before, including my sister.
The first year of the DNA course combines study and service and it’s more about you than what you learn. The second year is more focused on leadership than discipleship. I work at the YMCA for 20 to 25 hours a week, taking part in various resident sessions and prayer groups. Now I’m here and the team is bigger I can help develop growth which the Chaplaincy Department hasn’t had the capacity to do before and I’m encouraged to step out more and develop projects.
But the course has never been about working exclusively in chaplaincy. If there’s something I was really keen on, like accounts, I could do that. I didn’t know a lot about YMCA before I came. I’ve been impressed by the level of support and care the residents get , the amount of staff behind the scenes, the number of different departments and the high level of investment in staff, as well as the people the YMCA cares for.
I’d say the DNA leadership programme is for young leaders who are up for what God is doing and willing to see what the YMCA is about. It can take on any form. It’s about being here and experiencing it.