YMCA impact

About YMCA

YMCA is the oldest and largest youth charity in the world, set up by Sir George Williams in England in 1844. Across England and Wales, we run as a federation with 120 local YMCAs working independently to support young people to belong, contribute and thrive in their communities.

While YMCAs work and respond locally, YMCA England acts as the national council, supporting each local charity within our federation and acting as a national voice with Government and decision makers. You can read more about YMCA England’s work on our What we do page.

YMCA focuses on young people, helping them to play an active and fulfilling role within their communities. We call this our youth-minded community approach. We also provide a wide range of community-based activities and services to help meet local needs wherever we are based.

YMCAs in England and Wales are all part of a worldwide movement that together helps more than 58 million people in 119 different countries. You can read more about YMCA globally on our Where we are section.

You can find out more about our support for young people and communities in our YMCA booklet. Alternatively, visit the links below to see where we work and how we were founded by a draper from Somerset.


Who we are

Read about our history and find out more about our trustees, president and patron.


What we do

Learn about what we do and why.


Where we are

Find out where your nearest YMCA or YMCA Shop is.


Our vision and values

Read our vision and values.



Download our latest publications.


Youth Matters Awards

Find out more about our national youth awards.