The Basil Scott Training Bursary – what it is and how to apply

Money left by long-standing YMCA member Basil Scott now helps young people get the professional training they need.
17 May 2016

Some young people can’t afford professional fitness training. This was something that Basil Scott was all too aware of, and so, after having been a long-serving and highly valued member of the YMCA, he decided that he wanted to help. Basil died in 2010 and left funds in his will so that young people could gain professional training and go on to employment using their newly gained skills.

In 2011 the money Basil left went on to become The Basil Scott Training Bursary. Thanks to Basil, every year there is £10,000 available to provide free training opportunities for young people and volunteers. Successful applicants gain access to YMCAfit fitness industry training and qualifications to help give them the opportunities they may not previously have had.

How has it helped people?

Previous bursary recipient Leonard Hughes embodies the true spirit of the bursary. Having had his life turned upside down following a diagnosis of HIV 30 years ago, Leonard made the bold decision to prioritise his wellbeing and helping others over his career.

Leonard’s commitment to fitness ultimately led to him to complete YMCAfit’s Gym Instructor course and when things got tough financially, YMCAfit urged him to apply for their training bursary to fund his training. Keen to use his new-found skills to help others, he secured a volunteering position at YMCA Club. Leonard is now harnessing his skills, and his personal experience of living with HIV, to make a difference to other people’s lives, concluding: “It is giving me a structure to my life. It’s given me a light and a purpose.”

“It is giving me a structure to my life. It’s given me a light and a purpose.”
Leonard Hughes

In 2013 Central YMCA acquired YMCA Training (a national Apprenticeships provider in a wide range of industries) and the team are currently exploring how we can open the bursary to an even greater cross-section of potential beneficiaries. We are excited by the possibilities of extending the reach of the bursary to an even wider audience.

Who is eligible for a Basil Scott Training Bursary?

  • Applicants aged 16-25 at the time of application.
  • Applicants over the age of 25 will be considered if the paid or volunteer work they undertake directly benefits young people.
  • An individual willing to commit to an agreed time period to either volunteer for YMCA and/or within the local community once trained.

If you meet the eligibility criteria above and would like to apply, please register your interest by emailing

Applications can be made at any time, but will be reviewed by a committee at the end of February, May, August and November. Applications should be made for a course taking place in the following quarter, for example, applications made in January-February are suitable for courses starting April-July.

Download the application form.

Terms and conditions
  • Only one application and one training course per person is usually allowed.
  • The decision of the committee will be communicated to applicants four weeks prior to the start date of the course.
  • The decision of the committee is final – no appeal or communication with the committee is permitted.
  • Once accepted for a bursary, the applicant must take the course agreed. If you fail to attend or complete the course without prior agreement from Central YMCA you may be required to  pay the full cost of the course.
  • If the agreed timescale of volunteering is not adhered to, part or full payment of the course will be paid back into the Basil Scott Training Bursary by the beneficiary.
  • All successful applicants must agree to provide two stages of feedback; at the end of their course and six months after completing their course.