„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“

YMCA England & Wales

National Council of YMCAs in England and Wales

Member movement since 1974

10-11 Charterhouse Square
London EC1M 6EH

Phone: +44 20 7186 9500
Fax: +44 20 7186 9501
E-mail: enquiries@ymca.org.uk
E-mail: enquiries@ycareinternational.org (Y Care)
URL: https://www.ymca.org.uk/

National General Secretary: Denise Hatton

Our Impact

The YMCA in England works within local communities with young people, particularly at times of need, through the provision of high quality activities. We do so in the following ways:


YMCA offers more than 9,100 beds every night, which includes everything from emergency accommodation through to supported longer-term housing and youth hostels.

Our philosophy of supporting young people holistically means that we provide not only a bed but also help a young person gain the training, skills and confidence to go on to lead independent lives.

We provides a home to more than 18,000 people experiencing homelessness each year, making us the largest voluntary sector provider of supported housing for young people in England and Wales.


Family Work

The right start in life is crucial for a person’s long-term development. It is for this reason that YMCA works with people from birth through to adulthood - supporting individuals and families to flourish.

We support more than 230,000 children, young people and parents every year through our family work.


Health & Wellbeing

We recognise health and wellbeing is the bedrock that enables people to develop in all areas of their life, from education and employment to relationships and social networks. We have more than 270 health and wellbeing facilities, including gyms, swimming pools, community halls, and outdoor activity centres. Engaging more than 125,000 people each year, YMCA is the largest voluntary sector provider of services promoting health and wellbeing in England and Wales.


Support & Advice

YMCA is there for every young person in the community, supporting them through good and difficult times with a wide range of services.

In each case, our aim is to enable the young person to grow and develop in every aspect of their life. YMCA provides support and advice to more than 105,000 people every year.


Training & Education

Helping young people gain the confidence to make decisions about their own lives is an important part of our work, as is providing an environment in which they can flourish.


Education is much more than formal schooling. This is why YMCA offers a range of education, skills-based training, placement and apprenticeship schemes that support young people in reaching their aspirations.

YMCA enables almost 68,000 people every year to engage in education and training.


Our Campaigns

As a national youth charity, we pride ourselves in giving young people a voice. Currently, we are spearheading two significant national campaigns. #IAMWHOLE and the Be Real Campaign. Over the past 12 months each have tackled head-on some of the most critical issues affecting young people today, sparking changes in conversation, and pushing our mission to the top of the public agenda.


Tackling mental health stigma.


The #IAMWHOLE campaign, a partnership between YMCA and the NHS, launched on World Mental Health Day in 2016, with the aim of tackling damaging mental health stigma and encouraging children and young people to speak out and seek help. It gave a voice to the thousands of young people who had long suffered in silence.


In 2017 we built on the success from the previous year by launching the second phase in October, again on World Mental Health Day, with the band Nothing But Thieves fronting the campaign and recording an official charity single.

Resources were also developed for primary schools, with short story, Flo and the Funny Feelings, released along with a parent and carer guide. Secondary schools were provided with a simple exercise around challenging harmful language and a series of videos featuring young people talking about the most common words and stereotypes.


Be Real Campaign

Body confidence for everyone.


Body image anxiety is causing young people to isolate themselves, consider drastic changes to their appearance and develop mental health difficulties. Be Real, a partnership between YMCA and Dove, is campaigning to change attitudes to body image and help all of us to put health above appearance and be confident in our bodies.


Over the past 12 months we have launched significant research lifting the lid on appearance-based bullying among young people and YMCAs have been working in schools to deliver body confidence sessions with pupils. Most recently, we launched the Be Real Campaign’s Body Image Pledge, which encourages people to take a stand against unrealistic beauty ideas and released new research on the expectations on young people face to look a certain way has been released.