About Central YMCA

Here's a little about what we do and what we believe in.

YMCA is a global movement – you’ve probably heard of it. It all started almost 200 years ago with us – Central YMCA. Today, YMCA isn’t just one charity – there are many different YMCAs all around the world doing different things. Central YMCA was the world’s very first one and today we work independently as a leading UK health, education and wellbeing charity. Our values and principles, however, remain the same.

We’re all about mind, body and spirit and we believe in helping people to live happier, healthier and more fulfilled lives. To achieve this, we work hard to give people access to life-changing opportunities through our four operations. 

Almost 200 years since YMCA was founded we’re still on the lookout for practical solutions to social problems – often using our extensive contacts, skills and knowledge of the fitness industry as the catalyst. It’s what makes us different.

Our focus

We put education, health & wellbeing and young people at the heart of our work because we believe:

  • education is the key to unlocking new opportunities which make people happier, healthier and more fulfilled
  • mental and physical wellbeing is directly related to a better quality of life
  • traditional education doesn't suit everyone and so young people need alternative opportunities that lead them to fulfilling employment.

Don’t miss out on industry news, government policy updates, plus our initiatives and campaigning work

Working with partners

We partner with businesses and organisations using our knowledge and contacts to help them grow, while also making a positive contribution to society through education, health & wellbeing and the creation of youth opportunities.

  • Get on Track is a free, six-week mentoring programme created with the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust. It helps young people improve their life skills while giving retired athletes a chance to develop a new career.
  • We developed the award-winning InstructAbility initiative with Aspire – a national charity supporting people with spinal-cord injuries. It trains unemployed disabled people in the skills needed to become a fitness instructor.
  • Help for Heroes asked us to develop a bespoke diploma in personal training. It retrains injured soldiers as personal trainers giving them a new career.
  • Other partners include the Royal Household, the armed forces, ukactive, Kennedy Scott and the Houses of Parliament

Read more about Our collaborations and discover how we could help your business.