YMCA staff from Togo visited their Walthamstow counterparts to share ideas.

Togo YMCA delegates worked and lived with residents and staff at Forest YMCA in Forest Road earlier this month.

They helped out in the kitchen and with after-school clubs as they learned about life in the borough, while Forest staff learned about their guests’ work to improve the rights and conditions of prisoners in Togo.

The visit was part of the two groups’ three-year partnership formed in 2011 to share knowledge and experiences of how to improve the lives of those in need of help.

Gerard Atohoun, General Secretary of Togo YMCA, said: "We are extremely grateful to the staff and residents of Forest YMCA for their support, and for welcoming us into their workplace and homes.

"We have exchanged many ideas and ways of working and have many happy memories that we shall take back to share with our colleagues in Togo." 

Tim Pain, CEO at Forest YMCA, added: "This visit has been much more than cementing a partnership, it has created a bond and friendships that will sustain far beyond the three-year partnership."