Our purpose

We believe everybody should have the opportunity to lead happy, healthy lives.

Since 1891, our approach has been built upon the 3 core aspects of wellbeing: mind, body and spirit, represented by our famous red triangle. 

We work in, and with, communities to support individuals, children and young people to develop the skills, experiences, relationships and behaviours to become successful and contributing adults.  This work is underpinned by the 40 Developmental Assets which is based on substantial research by the Search Institute, understanding the factors that affect people’s life chances.   

Our mission 

To champion and add value to young lives by providing experiences that challenge, enable and develop the individual.

What we do 

We achieve our purpose through combining People, Places and Programmes. We believe that through the creation of spaces, people can come together, connect and create impact.

  • People – inspirational people who are part of the YMCA community and make a di erence.
  • Places – venues where people can come together, belong and feel part of a community
  • Programmes – services for children, young people and families, built upon Developmental Assets and which meet local needs. 

How we do it – the YMCA Way

All of our work is delivered in the YMCA Way, our unique set of values and behaviours that sets us apart and makes us different.  We put people at the heart of all we do, working creatively and with integrity with staff,, volunteers and community stakeholders to deliver the very best for children, young people and families.

Celebrating in a football goal at one of the Southampton Daycamps.
Child playing outside at Treetots

We inspire young people/communities

The YMCA is all about welcoming, listening, caring and inspiring. We help young people and families to truly belong, contribute and thrive. In a busy world, we always make time for the individuals who come to us.

“Living in a small house with limited garden space, my kids really benefitted from being able to run around, let off some steam and mix with other children in a safe environment” Daycamp Bursary parent

We make memories that last a lifetime

We create exciting and active places and moments where life skills, confidence and friendships grow. Your first morning, day or night away from home – or the first home of your own – are experiences you’ll never forget. Our whole team works to make them amazing.

“Coming to the YMCA gives our busy family the time to make memories together”  The Grant family

Children running at one of the Southampton Daycamps.
Playing at Portsea Nursery

We don’t do it for profit

YMCA Fairthorne Group is a registered charity: we’re proud to be part of the longest-running youth charity in the world. Read about our unique history.

“Our family attended the YMCA Family Festival. It’s been a while since we were able to laugh together and just be a family. We enjoyed eating together and sitting at the table at meal times. We haven’t been able to do this since we lost our family home. Thank you for showing us all what family life should be and enabling us to laugh together again”  Sophie, YMCA housing tenant

Our values

Our values are at the core of everything we do, guiding the way with which we work with our members, customers and communities.

Our values – listening, caring, welcoming, exciting, inspiring, active.

Everyone is welcome at the YMCA – we expect all staff and visitors to commit to providing an atmosphere free from discrimination and harassment.

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