About Us

YMCA Bolton's Vision is..

Our mission remains unchanged and we seek to be an inclusive christian movement welcoming people of all faiths and none, transforming communities so that all young people truly belong, contribute and thrive regardless of their past experiences or present social circumstances.


Our aim is to work with young people to empower them :
to be active in their own communities,
to improve their physical health and emotional well-being
to develop skills to increase their employability


Our mission is to give young people a voice and a role; helping them to develop positive life skills; to build resilience; to recognise their potential and to support their aspirations.

Our History

From its inception over 150 years ago the YMCA has grown into a global movement which makes a real difference to millions of lives every day. Traditionally YMCA services have delivered distinct, mainly stand alone services tailored to meet the needs of specific communities. YMCA  Bolton is one of 114 YMCA organisations operating in nearly every local authority, which, in conjunction with; YMCA George Williams College, Y Care International, YMCA Training and Central YMCA Qualifications and YMCA England, form the YMCA Federation in England.

  • 1883
    Committee formed to oversee the founding of a YMCA in Bolton.
  • 1844
    George Williams instrumental in founding the YMCA.
  • 1884
    YMCA Bolton founded.
  • 1884/1914
    1914 A wide programme of Social, Educational, Sporting and Religious activities developed in various venues in the town centre, including Gt Moor St & St Georges Rd.
  • 1914/1918
    A programme of service to the Armed Forces implemented.
  • 1919
    After a lightning campaign the citizens of Bolton raise the money to purchase the Deansgate building as a memorial to those who made the supreme sacrifice during the Great War and as a thank you to the Association for its devoted service to our soldiers during that conflict.
  • 1923
    Bolton Boys Federation Football League is founded under the auspices of the YMCA and bases its Headquarters in our premises.
  • 1923
    Princess Helena Victoria visits the Association.
  • 1925
    An extension to the rear of the building is built creating more space for the rapidly expanding work of the Association.
  • 1937
    The Duke of Gloucester visits the Association to support the work with young people.
  • 1940/1946
    Over 41000 service men use the temporary hostel accommodation provided within the building.
  • 1946
    1946 A 32 bed residential unit is opened at Lostock Deane on a site given to the YMCA & Bolton Boy Scouts.
  • 1950’s
    Regular Holidays organised by the YMCA for its members, which included visits for young members to the Continent.
  • 1975
    A refurbished Coffee Bar/ Youth Centre opens in the basement.
  • 1978
    1978 Ladies admitted into membership for the first time.
  • 1983
    YMCA Bolton commences vocational training with the long term unemployed. Also exchange development links begin with Detmold YMCA in Germany.
  • 1984
    Y-Fit Health Studio opens as part of the Associations Centenary celebrations.
  • 1987/88
    Exchange visits with Montclair YMCA, New Jersey, USA.
  • 1991
    Launch of ‘Bolton Bonanza’ Bolton’s own game produced by the Association.
  • 1992
    Y-Fit wins National Competition for innovative activity in the ‘Fit for Life’ campaign.
  • 1993
    Day Camps programme of summer activities for children commences.
  • 1994
    The Association shares in the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the YMCA with a week long display in the Market Place.
  • 1995
    Regular second hand book sales commence as a fund raiser for the Association.
  • 2003
    Phil Glanvill retires after 24 years as General Secretary.
  • 2004
    Arrival of Julian Finch as current Chief Executive Officer.
  • 2005
    YMCA basement reopens as the ‘Venue’ youth café and a thriving youth and children’s programme commences.
  • 2007
    YMCA Bolton’s own Youth Council forms and marks the move towards a more active role for young people in the future development of the organisation.
  • 2009
    YMCA Bolton celebrates its 125th anniversary.
  • 2012
    YMCA World Challenge: The YMCA movement sets a Guinness World for most people shooting basket ball hoops in one day
  • 2015
    Y Care International, the overseas development agency of YMCA in the UK and Ireland is established. Today it supports projects for vulnerable young people in over 20 countries worldwide. YMCAs in Wales affiliate to the National Council.
  • Today
    YMCA has over 58 million members in 119 countries worldwide. Since it was established, YMCA has adapted to the changing needs of young people. Today it works with young men and women regardless of race, religion or culture. In every corner of the world, YMCA is helping young people to build a future.