Ashington teenager Beth Chambers has been recognised as part of the YMCA’s Youth Matters Week, which honours 'exceptional' young people who have overcome challenges to make a difference in their community.

The 16-year-old was one of ten extraordinary young people selected, from across the country, in recognition of her incredible journey and achievements. Beth was nominated by staff and peers at YMCA Northumberland, in Ashington, due to her strength and determination to overcome significant obstacles and carve out a positive path in her life.

Beth found it extremely difficult engaging with the education system and was expelled from school at the age of 13. However, after being introduced to the YMCA’s Y-Drop-In Project, Beth began working with the youth team to talk about her behaviour and three years later the teenager has turned things around completely. She is studying at college, working part-time and has commenced volunteering for the charity by helping other teenagers facing difficulty.

Beth said ‘I'm overwhelmed with being selected and feel really proud. It's strange thinking back over the last few years and seeing how far I have come.’

Rob Cox, Chief Executive of YMCA Northumberland, adds 'Beth has been an inspiration at YMCA Northumberland. Her journey of change over the last few years has been noticed by staff, volunteers and most importantly by her peers. Beth has worked so hard and is now an amazing asset to the YMCA team. She has stepped into the world of work by securing a part time job while she continues her studies. Everyone who knows Beth is so proud of her and of the changes she has made in her life.’

YMCA Northumberland provide support to young people including health & wellbeing programmes, training & education and youth activities with a focus on helping young people play an active and fulfilling role within their community. 

For more information on the work of YMCA Northumberland visit

Ashington Town Council has supported YMCA Northumberland’s work in the town over a number of years.