Welcome to City YMCA London

We passionately believe that every young person should have the opportunity to build a future of their own choosing. We provide accommodation and support to those made homeless and a range of interventions for young people in the communities that we serve.

Our holistic approach covers young people aged 12 to 25 where 25% have left care and 15% run-away from home. The rest are either deemed at-risk from parents, are trying to divert from crime or have fallen upon hard times.

We’ve been working with young people for the last 45 years. We have housed over 10,000 and enabled another 20,000 to become meaningfully engaged. But our journey isn’t over and we could always do with the help of willing partners and donors to help accomplish our mission.


LandAid House hits a new milestone with the scaffolding coming down at the end of September revealing the full face of the building. It’s a delight to see and we get increasingly excited to see the building take shape.

We are delighted to announce City YMCA London have been chosen by the John Lewis Partnership (Victoria) as their Charity of the Year 2019/21.  

In a partnership that aims to fundraise and boost volunteering, we will be working closely together, starting in September with a cycling challenge in France. 

Initially they will be raising funds for New Home Boxes. This initiative is a welcome box scheme for a young person who has been living rough on the streets and accompanies them when they move into a safe, new home to start their new life. The boxes include sheets and pillows and a duvet and dressing gown and will be even to young people as they move into the new LandAid House building in Errol Street from March 2020. 

Thank you to the John Lewis Partnership (Victoria) for voting to give Homeless Young Londoners the chance to create a future of their own choosing. Let's have an amazing two years.

Twinkle Needs Your Vote

YMCA Youth Matters Awards

City YMCA London has been successful in nominating a young resident, Twinkle Huggins, in this years YMCA Youth Matters Awards. Twinkle is now a semi-finalist under the Young Achiever of the Year category.

In order to help Twinkle to become a finalist this year, we need your HELP! Please VOTE FOR TWINKLE

The Property and Development team and suppliers at John Lewis Partnership (Victoria) raise over £11,000 for homeless young people on their bi-annual bike challenge. Thank you guys!

City YMCA London were delighted to host the 10th celebration of the Whitecross Street Party in July. 40 street artists painting live along the full length of the street was an amazing sight.

Charity of the Year 

John Lewis Pitch

City YMCA London residents Channell and Daniel were at John Lewis HQ in Victoria today to help persuade staff there to vote for them as their HQ Charity of the Year. We’ll find out towards the end of July. Let us know if you work there and help us WIN that vote!

New Errol Street Building named 

LandAid House 

LandAid, the property industries charity, have now signed up as Title Sponsor of the new YMCA building currently under construction in Errol Street. As a result City YMCA London are delighted to call the new development LandAid House. Yesterday Paul Morrish, Chief Executive of LandAid, was delighted to hand over a cheque for £1 million, the first instalment on their pledge to raise £1.5m for our appeal.

LandAid House Development

The concrete frame is now complete and a ceremony of the contraction team was held on the 27th November 2019 to mark the occasion. Our huge thanks to everyone for getting us to this milestone. By next summer the seven storey development should be nearing completion and we will be gearing up to move 146 young people experiencing homelessness into their new home.


19th YMCA World Council

Chiang Mai, Thailand, 8th – 14th July 2018

Robert Thompson, Chairman of City YMCA London, was one of 100 delegates representing the UK at the 19th YMCA World Council last year. Under theme “Empowering Young People” the varied programme ranged from information and business meetings, devotions and presentations to cultural shows and visits.

Robert said “It was so rewarding to attend the devotions, Thai cultural events and young delegate’s presentations. To browse the exhibition of local and world YMCA’s projects enabled me to engage with leaders across the world. To be able to learn about their work and talk about ours over food and coffee was an eye opener and a real privilege. I made contact with representatives from YMCA’s in America, India, Sri Lanka, Cameroun, Mongolia, China as well as at home in England.”

“As a result of going I have been able to make stronger ties with the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong and Guangzhou and subsequently have visited them. I look forward to meeting representatives from these YMCA’s at 175th celebrations in London in August 2019.”

If any young person has the opportunity to attend a World Council event they should take up the invitation. It is quite a unique experience. “For me, seeing so many young people from all around the world in one place, in unity, from different cultures, but with one purpose to empower young people, to be apart of this at Chiang Mai was very emotional and uplifting.”

City YMCA Housing Worker Mohammed Miah attended the 19th World YMCA Assembly in Thailand last year and reported: “I attended various meetings, seminars and conferences. When we went there we were put in to groups and spoke about how professionals and front line workers have made an impact; and what changes we can make.

I have met different people around the world, from directors, trustees and young people who have turned their life around. I built rapport with them and learnt things that I didn’t know, things like ‘change agents’. My experience was amazing, I was overwhelmed and it was a great opportunity.”

The YMCA world movement is the world’s largest youth organisation, uniting helping, following and practising the ethics of mission, visions and values of Sir George Williams. Established on the 6th of June 1844 the movement is still flowing.

“I realised how big YMCA is and how proud I am to be part of the movement. I have learnt that every YMCA is a different body and contribute in different ways, which is amazing.”

Golden Lane Youth Project

In partnership with the City of London Corporation  

City YMCA London’s new outreach project is bringing in local young people from the Golden Lane Housing Estate to the newly refurbished Community Centre. The new youth project makes sure that young people are fully aware of what is available to them on the estate and further across London. Both in centre club activities and off site visits are proving a great success. Young people’s eyes have been opened to the Millennium Bridge, The Barbican Arts Centre and Tate Modern as well as local swimming and ice skating.

What a Homeless Person Leaves Behind

It is a Monday morning and the last of our 114 residents was decanted from the old Errol Street Hostel last Friday. Touring the building today is a ghostly experience! The building is full of the shadows of the last 40 years and the 10,000 or so lives that have been shaped. And it is interesting to see what a homeless young person leaves behind. 

Journey with us and view the images.

Demolition of Old Hostel Paves the Way for New Flagship Home for Young People Experiencing Homelessness


City YMCA London is proud to announce the start of the re-development of its Errol Street accommodation. Its contractors will start to demolish the worn-out old building this week. A brand new, £19 million flagship building is due to open by autumn 2018 giving a hope and a future to 10,000 young homeless Londoners over the next 60 years.

The charity has been awarded a grant of £8.76 million towards the costs of the new home from the Mayor of London from Department of Health funding. The award is a key component of the charity’s ambitious plan to create the new 146-bed home providing much-needed bed spaces to some of London’s most vulnerable young people. The building will offer a new model of supported accommodation incorporating 146 en-suite bedrooms, social spaces and a fitness facility. The inclusion of move-on accommodation will allow homeless young people the chance to learn what it means to live independently whist still living within a supported environment. 

City YMCA London retains the challenge to raise a further £3.5m over the next two years to ensure that the new home is built to the desired specification, giving the best chances for vulnerable young people well into the future. With 82% of the funding already committed, City YMCA London is launching an appeal to ask people and local companies to get involved. The appeal offers a range of ways to engage from Buying a Brick at just £10 to inviting businesses to Sponsor a Room for £25,000.

Chief Executive Gillian Bowen said: 

“Today marks a significant step forward in our ability to see this vision fulfilled. Over the last four years we have been working with a single focus, to create a new accommodation giving thousands more young people the chance to make a future of their own choosing. Today that vision is within our grasp.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said:  

“London has a chronic shortage of affordable housing for young people who have support needs. This development will provide modern facilities in a safe and secure setting – it means City YMCA can help more young people who become homeless to rebuild their lives and give them the chance of a brighter future.” 

Last Julys homelessness CHAIN statistics indicate that the number of homeless young people in London has doubled over the last five years. Existing accommodation is in high demand for a client group who often need significant support. Providing that support allows them to move on making space for other homeless young people to accept accommodation. 

Appeal Chairman, Colin Passmore, Senior Partner at Simmons & Simmons a Founder Room Sponsor said: 

“Securing the funding for this vision has been a fabulous process. We’re delighted to have the support of the London Mayor, the City Bridge Trust and a range of leading foundations, companies and individuals. Our thanks go to them all for placing their faith in the City YMCA London team. After a great start we are now appealing for others across London to support the appeal.” 

City YMCA London would like to thank our major funding partners, The Mayor of London, The City of London Social Investment Fund, The Garfield Weston Foundation,  The Worshipful Company of Clothworkers and LandAid whose giving leadership is making this new home for young homeless Londoners possible.


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