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10 October 2019    |    General

Princess Royal opens new YMCA Scotland

In the year of the YMCA’s 175th anniversary, HRH Princess Anne the Princess Royal has officially opened YMCA Scotland’s new offices at Chesser Avenue in Edinburgh. In a short speech before she unveiled a plaque commemorating the event, the Princess Royal said “It’s always a comfort to know that I’m opening something which is already working. I’d like to offer my congratulations to an organisation which is probably constantly wondering whether it will still be around next year, never mind in 175 years. Your predecessors need congratulating and thanking for the efforts they put in and equally so do you for carrying on their established work and recognising that the value of that work never really changes. Each generation suffers its own challenges and problems which are always a little different, because each generation likes to think of itself as a little different, although fundamentally, their realities remain startlingly the same, hence the value of what you do across so many different countries.”

In November 2017, YMCA Scotland sold its city-centre office located in an old Georgian townhouse. Its vision was to find new premises for the national office offering fit-for-purpose, modern premises where young people, staff and volunteers from local YMCAs could have access to modern, flexible office, training and meeting spaces. There was also a desire to create a YMCA Heritage Library where the organisation could display some of the Heritage materials collated by young people through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

During her visit the Princess Royal was given a tour of the library where young people shared with her their learning about the role of the YMCA during the two world Wars as well has hearing about its sporting heritage.

She met with young people involved in Youth Voice, the Scottish Youth Parliament and the World YMCA Change Agent training scheme. She also spoke to those involved in Mentoring and Employability, Digital Youth work, Women’s Leadership and Health and Wellbeing.

Kerry Reilly, CEO of YMCA Scotland said, “ It was a real honour for so many of our young leaders to meet HRH The Princess Royal and to mark the 175th Anniversary of the YMCA in such a significant way.”

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