YMCA is part of a global Christian youth work organisation that works in local communities to serve the needs of vulnerable children, young people and families.
Operating in over 120 communities across Scotland, we seek to support young people to achieve their fullest potential, particularly those who struggle to cope well with the challenges that life brings them.
YMCA provision in different communities will serve very different needs. We are an organisation driven to serve local needs. For example our work in the center of Glasgow will reflect the needs of the community in the city. In the same way our work in Portree on the Isle of Skye will reflect the needs of that small rural community. These needs will of course be very different.
At the core of our being lies service to vulnerable young people and we approach this calling with a number of core commitments:
a) Safe & Healthy Development
YMCA wants to make sure that every young person it encounters will ultimately be enabled to achieve his/her fullest potential. We continually work to ensure that every young person in our care will experience unconditional love and acceptance and a place of safety and comfort.
As a voluntary organisation YMCA exists to serve identified needs and to address gaps in provision. As such you will find YMCA provision in Scotland working closely with colleagues in social work, police, local authority, churches and other charities. In addition YMCA seeks to enable others to thrive and to achieve rather than to do things ‘to them’ or ‘for them’. In this way we partner with children, young people and families by working to enable them to improve their skills, to take opportunities and to transform their lives for the better.
c) The Highest Standards
YMCA Scotland operates a quality standards system called Working Towards Excellence that was highly commended by the HMIE Inspection report in 2009.
Every YMCA is required to undergo the process at least once every five years involving all stakeholders including volunteers, young people, users, staff etc in an assessment of the organisation and its practice. The type of programme that YMCA delivers can change in response to local needs but will often reflect some of the fields of work laid out below:
[Note: In bold is what Portree YMCA does]
- Centre-based youth work inc youth leadership MSYPs
- Street-based youth work
- Early Intervention & Prevention
- Family support Programmes
- Support Services
- Employment (inc the College and PB)
- Volunteer Training
- International Programmes
- Policy development
- Various inter-agency project youth work