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About YMCA Scotland

28 local YMCA Associations across Scotland

Our YMCA mission is to empower young people and communities to build a just, sustainable, equitable and inclusive Scotland, where every person can thrive in body, mind and spirit.

The YMCA is the largest and oldest youth organisation in the world and YMCA Scotland represents 28 local YMCA Associations across Scotland.

YMCA is a federated model with 28 locally autonomous YMCAs working across Scotland and affiliating to YMCA Scotland.

This structure enables every YMCA to respond to the needs of their local communities, and puts local people at the heart of local YMCA decision making and governance.

80% of our YMCAs work in communities with the highest levels of social, economic, health and education needs.  Working in the heart of  communities, YMCA supports children,  young people and their families to achieve their fullest potential

We work alongside partners in social work, other voluntary organisations, police, education and local churches.

Much of our work is delivered by volunteers and each local YMCA is governed by local people who make up the Board of Trustees.

What we do for Community Wellbeing

What we do for Meaningful Work

What we do for a Sustainable Planet

What we do for a Just World

Empowering Young People Around the World

Our Global YMCA vision is a world where every person lives in harmony with self, with society and with creation.

YMCA is an inclusive Christian youth organisation, open to people of all faiths and none and we work to transform the lives of children and young people, empowering them to create positive change in their lives and communities.

We work with all children and young people in a non-judgemental and supportive manner, regardless of their beliefs or backgrounds to best support and empower young people.

Today, we provide opportunities for individuals to encounter the Christian faith through experiencing Christian values as embodied in our work, as well as those that follow a different religion or none.


Founded in 1844 in London, the YMCA has grown to become a global youth work organisation operating in 119 countries reaching 58 million people. ‘

‘From its inception in Scotland, it spread rapidly with 62 associations established by 1876. Throughout the war years, YMCA became well known for supporting families and those returning home from the front.

In addition, the British movement ran over 10,000 centres offering comfort, postal services and support to soldiers in the trenches during WW1.


United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC)

On 16th March 2021, The Scottish Parliament passed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill.