YMCA Birmingham

2016 will be recorded as a hugely significant year in the history of YMCA Birmingham. It marked the culmination of ten years’ planning, fundraising and development which finally saw the completion of our flagship development, The Orchard. The final phase was officially opened by HRH Princess Royal in May 2016. It received the Best Sustainable Development of the Year Award at the Insider Property Awards in June 2016 for its iconic design.
This success has extra significance in the context of our journey. In 2009 we lost 30% of our Supporting People grant and in 2013, trustees reluctantly took the decision to close the Youth and Community Department following heavy losses and continued reductions in youth work funding.

In many ways, the completion of The Orchard is symbolic for the rebirth and renewal of YMCA Birmingham, which actually mirrors the purpose of the site itself.
The Orchard contains 83 units of supported accommodation and 34 move-on units, a training and education function, conferencing facilities, a nursery and coffee shop.
The vision for the scheme was always ambitious – not just to provide housing and community facilities, but to create a real place of change where young people could be inspired to fulfil their potential and come to live life in all its fullness.

Today we provide more accommodation and we work with more young people than ever before – but we do it sustainably having completely reinvented our business model. Now our focus is no longer just on government income, but on generating our own resources through social enterprises offering education, training, volunteering, and employment opportunities on site to our young people and the local community.

YMCA Maidstone

YMCA Maidstone

YMCA Maidstone successfully redeveloped The Loose Sports and Community Centre in 2011 replacing an ageing centre built in the 1960s. The centre has been a catalyst to the increasing influence of YMCA Maidstone today, having nurtured innovative partnerships and distinctive services to benefit the people of Maidstone.

As part of a 10 year mission to provide a new community centre for the deprived community of Tovil, the Loose Centre has become a very pro-active prominent part of the community. Working closely with our community, partners and local agencies, we have developed programmes to inspire and engage, such as childcare, children’s youth and family programmes, sports health and wellbeing facilities, employment placement opportunities, a day centre for people with learning disabilities, a café and a volunteer programme.

During the past 12 months, the success of the centre has secured partners to support YMCA Maidstone in delivering the newly opened YMCA Tovil Community Centre.
The new centre maximises local access to community resources by providing rooms for agency services, safeguarding the viability of programs and services in a rapidly growing community and ensuring there is a strong infrastructure to support a community with diverse and complex needs.

The redevelopment and transformation of YMCA Maidstone has improved our awareness and ability to be responsive to community needs.


YMCA Swansea

YMCA Swansea always ‘pushes the envelope’. We stand for quality, bravery, resilience and genuinely changing the lives of young people and our communities for the better. We champion young people’s rights in Swansea and Wales, leading by example, putting participatory practice at the heart of everything we do.

We are a thriving social enterprise, doing good business, whilst providing key services for some of the most vulnerable people across Wales. We are not a housing association, and we do not have a multi-million pound turnover, but we are true leaders in our community from strategic level to grass roots, and we make a real and tangible impact on the lives of young people and the wider community.

Over the last 12 months we have championed the federation in Wales, embracing change and working closely with YMCA England.

1,600 people are accessing our services every week, based in a thriving community hub set in the heart of Swansea city centre. And, we support over 5,000 people across Wales.
We support young people through a number of innovative programmes, which include; Good Vibes, an LGBT youth forum; iDentity which supports BME and LGBT young people; Y Arts, giving young people access to arts and music; and Y Engage which helps unemployed adults back into training and employment.

We also have a gym, childcare facility and community café, plus nine community organisations are based at our Swansea Hub.

We have been recognised for our work in 2016 by winning a number of awards, most notably the Welsh Government Youth Excellence Award and Wales International Volunteer of Year Award.