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YMCA London South West

Organisation Summary

Business Sector:Accommodation; health & wellbeing; youth & children’s services; training & education

Business Activities:Providing hostel housing and move-on accommodation, gyms, adult and children’s activity classes, children’s play-schemes and youth centres.

Business Location:South West London

Chief Executive:Richard James



Legal structure:Charity

YMCA London South West

Now one of the largest YMCAs in Europe, YMCA London South West is a registered charity working in many diverse areas including Accommodation; Health & Wellbeing; Children, Youth & Family Work; Support & Advice, and Training & Education, as well as together with various community outreach programmes. YMCA’s Health & Wellbeing services, Children, Youth & Family services and Catering services are run as social enterprises, with surpluses used to support our community projects across South West London. Last year it housed over 650 homeless people in its hostels and move-on houses, and as well as providing shelter for people who would otherwise be sleeping rough or sofa-surfing, it runs Life Skills courses that help prepare YMCA residents to live independently. It also helps them to find work experience placements, to gain qualifications, to manage their money and to generally change their lives for the better.

E3M Member

YMCA London South West

Name:Richard James (BEng, MA, FRSA)

Title :Chief Executive Officer

Richard has been working in the Youth, Community and voluntary sector for over 15 years. He has been Chief Executive of YMCA London South West since 2010, prior to which he was Director of the youth charity Oxygen for nine years.

Richard is passionate about combining the best of the corporate and charity worlds: “The YMCA is a 170-year-old social enterprise and I’m motivated by the impact it can have on our young people and communities,” he explains. Given all the changes to central funding and local contracts, there will be many changes in the next few years: “I expect that there will be fewer but larger YMCAs. The challenge for each of us will be to ensure we remain sustainable, whilst not losing sight of our charitable purpose and our desire to support the whole community, particular the most vulnerable. We will be fighting for causes we think are important whilst delivering services that people want to be a part of."