Founded in 1855, YMCA Cheltenham has been a major provider of accommodation, sports facilities and youth work for more than 165 years and, holding fast to our Christian roots and ethos, we aim to work with the whole person – body, mind and spirit.
YMCA Cheltenham has always provided opportunities and services suitable for the day. Being an independent local charity, we know what the local community needs and we are able to respond quickly to those ever-changing needs. Currently, YMCA Cheltenham focuses on three main areas of work
We have four where we provide safe and secure accommodation for over 150 people who were formerly homeless or living in unsuitable accommodation. Our experienced support teams work closely with each resident to develop the skills necessary to live unsupported in the community. Some of our residents may have suffered abuse (physical, emotional, sexual), others may have a history of alcohol dependence or substance misuse, and for some it may simply be a case of needing the space and time to recover from a traumatic relationship break-up before picking up the pieces and moving on with their lives.
Whatever the reason for being with us, each person is treated as an individual and encouraged to reach their full potential in all areas of their lives.
Activities for residents
A range of activities are provided including regular visits to our own in Cheltenham to play football and use the fitness suite; a variety of arts and creative classes where residents are given the opportunity to discover talents that they were not aware they had or rediscover those that had long been dormant. We have some very talented artists living with us at the moment!
“Third Letter Group”
A popular group is the Wednesday “Third Letter Group” where residents explore the meaning behind the “C” in YMCA – our Christian roots and ethos. Bible study is held as well as discussions on a variety of topics aided by volunteers from local churches.
We have two affordable accommodation projects and , both in west Cheltenham. These provide high quality accommodation at affordable prices and are aimed at those who are in regular employment or further education. Dulverton Court comprises 21 apartments finished to a high specification and we hope they will go some way towards easing the current shortage of affordable housing for single people in Cheltenham.
Health and wellbeing
At the in College Drive, Cheltenham, we provide a range of organised and classes, catering for the very young through to the not so young! Basketball, martial arts, table tennis and badminton are some of the activities available to young people, and for the older ones we have our very popular EnergYse fitness classes (for the over 50s), walking football, table tennis, short tennis and badminton. We also have a small fitness suite with a range of equipment.
Friendly and welcoming
Our sports centre is friendly and welcoming. Not only is it a place to focus on getting and staying fit, but it provides a community network and support for those who, for example, have suffered family bereavement, or are recovering from stroke and other conditions. For many, it is an important time for interaction, perhaps an oasis in the middle of the week from the responsibility of caring for a loved one. Our are kept intentionally low as we want our facilities to be available to all who want to join us.
Our Sports Centre is also available for community groups and individuals to hire, whether that is for a regular weekly netball, cricket or football training session, or a little one’s birthday party. For more details, email the fitness manager or .
Youth and community work
Together with our partners, we provide a range of community activities for young people in various places around the town during school holidays and at other times. We have a mobile sports cage where fast and furious games of football and other sports take place, whilst our experienced youth workers engage with those who are waiting their turn.
Body, mind and spirit
We truly believe that positive activities are a way of promoting health and wellbeing, not just for the body, but regular sport and creative activities can also make a huge difference to someone suffering from depression or other mental health problems. This, together with our Christian ethos, provides for body, mind and spirit – three elements in equal measure creating the perfect balance.
Although some of our activities have changed over the years as the needs of the local community have changed, has not changed, but has remained consistent throughout many decades. We sincerely hope that this is a legacy which will continue for many decades to come.