Ever since 1871 when a group of friends created a local branch of YMCA in Nottinghamshire, our community-centric ethos of promoting Christian core values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility continue to grow stronger than ever! With the interests of young people and safeguarding their future resonating throughout every programme we deliver, YMCA’s mission has always been to enhance youth development, social responsibility in our community and healthy living for all.

More than a building

For many in Nottinghamshire, YMCA is represented by the striking grade II listed art deco building which is surviving the test of time on Shakespeare Street in the city centre.

Designed by Nottingham Council House architect Cecil Howitt, construction began in the 1930s and its doors opened in 1941 during the darkest days of the Second World War. Impressively, the building’s frontage was clad in black Vitralite, an opaque structural glass no longer available and extremely rare.

This ‘jewel in Nottingham’s heritage’ has served many purposes over its long history; a meeting place for Scouts, Monday evening tea dances, games of basketball, passionate public enquiries in the 1960s and, for a period in the 1980s, a hostel for backpackers from around the globe.

Today, it provides vital accommodation and support for the homeless. The iconic building continues to embrace the YMCA’s commitment to promoting mind, body and spirit.

With the needs of our young service users, hostel residents and gym members forever informing the decisions and shaping the direction of our charity, YMCA has always been – and will always be – so much more than just a building. It Is a welcoming, non-judgemental safe space for local people to come together and define the next chapter of our fantastic local community.  

Wider YMCA movement

Although every YMCA branch operates autonomously, YMCA belongs to a worldwide Christian Ecumenical movement that welcomes those of other faiths and none-religious people. Inclusivity and a deep respect for all people, regardless of background, resides at the heart of everything we do as a movement, and helping those in need of support drives us forward. As a local charity, we seek to share the Christian ideal of building a human community of justice where everyone deserves the chance to fulfil their God-given potential.  

175th anniversary

In 2019, YMCA marks the international movement’s 175th anniversary with a global youth event on 4-8 August at ExCel London, UK.

Centred around promoting young people, YMCA175 brings together youth leaders, YMCA senior staff and networks from around the world through a combination of conference and celebratory elements designed to serve as a living embodiment of what the movement really means to hundreds of communities.

The programme explores YMCA’s Christian identity, heritage, interfaith dialogue and ecumenical traditions to deepen understanding of youth empowerment going forward into the charity’s next chapter. Around the globe, young leaders are delivering youth-led projects and community development to give a real platform to the needs and voices of our next generation. As a result, they are making a significant contribution towards achieving the United Nations 17 core ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs), which include agendas such as combatting poverty, reducing inequalities and promoting peace and justice. Learn more about YMCA175 by visiting the event’s website.

Work With Us

Do you have a passion for working with children or vulnerable adults? Whether you could help a homeless person rebuild their independence or deliver day camp activities to young people – we would love to hear from you!

Find out what volunteer and job vacancies are available at YMCA by visiting our Careers page.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!