3rd November 2017

Winchester City Council launched a prosecution of YMCA Fairthorne Group on health and safety grounds, which was heard recently at Portsmouth Crown Court.   The court found YMCA Fairthorne Group guilty on one charge and a fine has been imposed at sentencing.

We are pleased to note that when passing sentence the Judge acknowledged the YMCA’s good safety record and that the organisation as a conscientious employee and member of the community.  We also welcomed his remarks regarding the importance of encouraging children to be adventurous.  We believe that these views are reflected in his decision to impose a  £30,000 fine, which is significantly at the lower end of the scale suggested by the prosecution. As a charity, every penny counts and we would like to make clear that the £200,000 costs that were awarded are covered by our insurance company who we would like to thank for their support throughout the case.  These costs will not impact on the day-to-day running of the YMCA Fairthorne Group.

The Judge’s remarks echo our view that outdoor centres like Fairthorne Manor continue to be rewarding and exciting places for young people and the entire community to visit. YMCA has been delivering activities at Fairthorne Manor for over 40 years, offering hundreds of thousands of children fantastic experiences and lasting memories.

We take the issue of safety extremely seriously. All our activities reach national safety standards; where appropriate external approved assessors evaluate our staff members and we deliver activities in line with nationally agreed guidelines. YMCA Fairthorne Manor is a Hampshire Outdoor Education approved and AALA licensed centre.

For further reassurance regarding school and group trips, please visit our schools and groups page. If you are a Hampshire school, please see the Hampshire County Council supportive reassurance via your Evolve log in.