The YMCA in Kilmarnock has been around for over 100 years and is very much embedded in Kilmarnock Culture. It was established in 1904 in keeping with the values and beliefs of the International YMCA movement and for many years provided a youth facility for young men in and around Kilmarnock, utilising premises in Titchfield Street, Howard Street and Seaforth Street before moving to its current premises at Soulis Street, Kilmarnock.
Over the years, Kilmarnock YMCA has always moved with the times by adapting to meet the demands of its local community within a changing society. In the 80’s it saw the introduction of girls and young women and for more than decade it also served as a support and safe haven for people experiencing homelessness and addictions.
In 2013 it was completely refurbished and re-established as a youth facility for children and young people ages 5 to 17 years. However, the Board of Management wanted to do more and the idea of sharing the YMCA premises with the wider community was born. As a result, we have a range of new services including a Drop In for our Y Seniors, a Community Garden and a Community Café due to open at the end of 2023.
The name YMCA Plus was adopted to reflect the YMCA’s wider role in the community and the official launch of YMCA Plus took place in September 2015. Ben and James of Biffy Clyro, who also grew up as YMCA members and used the premised for their band practice, came along to make the official opening along with East Ayrshire Provost; Mr Jim Todd.