youth development

Each YMCA across Scotland responds to the needs of children and young people in its local community, designing and delivering programmes that will address these needs and enable those young people to achieve their fullest potential.


Below are some examples of this type of work.


Developed by YMCA staff in 2012 working in partnership with Inspiring Scotland’s ’Go Play’ initiative this innovative approach transforms the school playground into a learning and development opportunity.

Primary 7 pupils are trained by the YMCA to initiate and co-ordinate participative games in the playground engaging all ages and different personalities in playing and having fun together.

Piloted in five primary schools in Stranraer the programme has transformed the school playgrounds reducing bullying and developing leadership skills for P7 pupils.

Youth and Community hubs

Many of our YMCAs are based right in the middle of deprived communities serving the needs of local children, young people and families.

In Tain, for example, in the heart of the Highlands, the youth café is a purpose built facility for young people in the middle of the town that is open 5 nights a week as a youth centre attracting up to 120 young people from the town and the neighbouring villages.

A busy programme of activities and events is designed around the needs of the young people in Tain with a strong focus on developing young leaders physically, spiritually and emotionally. Streetwork, sports programmes that tour the Highlands and a wide range of groupwork add to high profile events that together make Tain YMCA a transformational place for local young people.