Frequently Asked Questions

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Download the new 20 page brochure that contains all the information you need to know for YMCA175.

REGISTRATION AND DELEGATES

Yes, there are! We want to ensure that YMCA175’s delegates are from across the world, so we’ve worked to support those who are coming from countries requiring a visa. We have two delegate packages, Option One is with hostel accommodation included, and Option Two is without accommodation, but you can add on hotel accommodation as part of the registration process.

Option One: Delegate ticket with hostel accommodation, including four night stay, tickets for London’s public transport, and full event access for the duration, plus breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

Early bird: £410 (non-visa) / £270 (visa) – offer valid until January 31st 2019

Standard rate: £465 (non-visa) / £325 (visa)

Option Two: Delegate access, no accommodation, including tickets for London’s public transport, and full event access for the duration, with just lunch and dinner. 

Early bird: £290 (non-visa) / £150 (visa) –  offer valid until January 31st 2019

Standard rate: £345 (non visa) / £205 (visa)

Option 2 has the ability to add on and book three or four star hotel accommodation through the registration system, all of which is within a five-minute walk of the venue for around £100 per night and will be available to book through the registration system.

Volunteers positions cost £180, subject to an application process and approval.

 

YMCA175 is a fully inclusive event that promotes equity and understanding in human diversity. There is a place for everyone, of every background. We embrace our vast cultural contexts, recognising the incredible diversity YMCA has around the world. 

The programme will be targeted at 16 to 35 year old leaders within the YMCA Movement, but there will be programme content for senior leaders, staff, volunteers and retirees.

Registration for YMCA175 will close on Monday 1 July at 5pm UK time. This is also the cut-off date and time for submitting and allocating your group registration tickets.

Yes, our booking system – provided by LiveBuzz – allows for group leaders or National Coordinators to reserve and pay for large groups of delegate passes, and then allocate them to individuals at a later date.

This can be defined by National Movements, the primary audience for YMCA175 is young leaders aged 16-35. There is no upper age limit!

Alongside the young leaders, we will welcome individuals operating at every level of YMCA’s family. There will be streamed programmes of learning and sharing for young leaders, senior leaders and a childcare programme.

As a YMCA, by sending both your young leaders and senior leaders, you will be demonstrating your commitment to youth empowerment and recognising young people’s potential to change the future.

All National Movements are being asked to appoint a National Coordinator if they are able to do so, this person would be responsible for approving individual delegates and groups to their countries overall delegation. The National Coordinator is given access to the registration system to approve and manage all delegates from their movement. They also provide support for the travel plans, visas and insurance where required of the delegation.

If you need to contact your National Coordinator, you can find out who they are by contacting your National Council/YMCA.

YMCA175 has been programmed as a 4-day event, with delegates getting the best experience by attending for the duration of the event. However, we recognise that attending for the whole of YMCA175 may not be possible, and will  make day tickets available from May 2019, with prices published here in April.

Children’s places are £180 for hostel accommodation, delegate access, London travel pass and food. You would need to book a delegate pass for a parent or carer to accompany any children. To book as a family, please choose the group booking option, you will be able to add children on to your booking this way.

At present there isn’t. We are working with partners to explore potential options for this. However, we encourage National Movements and local YMCAs to consider what fundraising opportunities and partnerships can be explored as well.

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ABOUT THE EVENT

With every four-day event access delegate ticket for YMCA175 a public transport pass is included. For the majority of delegates, this can be collected from ExCeL London upon arrival on Sunday 4 August (between 12pm and 8pm) as part of accreditation.

The travel pass includes London Underground for zones 1 to 3 (London Underground is split into 6 zones, see the map here). Zones 1 to 3 will include all YMCA175 hostel locations to allow delegates to travel to and from their accommodation and the venue.

Delegates will need to arrange their own airport transfers to accommodation/ExCeL London upon arrival. Onward travel on the departure day (Thursday 8 August) to airports / transport hubs as this public transport pass does not include airport transfers.

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YMCA175 is organised by YMCA Europe, hosted by YMCA England & Wales, and partnered with World YMCA and YMCA of the USA.

Delegates will need to pick up their event accreditation from ExCeL London between 12pm and 7pm on Sunday 4 August. During this time The Plaza will be open for delegates to connect with friends, meet event partners and exhibitors, explore heritage exhibitions and installations, buy merchandise, experience interactive spaces, and enjoy entertainment building up to the Opening Ceremony. 

YMCA175 will officially begin on Sunday 4 August with the Opening Ceremony, starting at 7:30pm. Delegates are advised to arrive a minimum of one hour before it starts to collect their event accreditation.

On Monday 5, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 August, The Plaza will open at 9am, one hour before daily devotions.

The opening plenary each day runs from 11am – 12:30pm, followed by lunch, and an afternoon of breakout sessions, fun activities and workshops.

The Closing Ceremony, which marks the end of YMCA175, will take place on Wednesday 7 August, starting at 8pm and finishing late. Departures will take place from the morning of Thursday 8 August. Volunteers would arrive earlier and would depart from Wednesday 7 August from late afternoon onwards.

We are open to hearing ideas for contributions to the programme, logistics and content for YMCA175. Please use the contact form to get in touch! Please read the information on the about pages to understand YMCA175’s concept, vision and values before contacting us.

We are in the process of developing our Sustainability Policy. YMCA175 adopts a sustainable event management approach, seeking to minimise its impact on the environment as much as possible.

Yes, there will be. YMCA175 is hosted by YMCA England & Wales, which has professional childcare provision across the country. We are working with the host movement to offer this at ExCeL London.

YMCA175 delegates will be provided food from day two of the event on Monday 5 August 2019. The first day is for arrivals, accreditation and the opening ceremony. Food will start with breakfast at hostels or hotels booked through YMCA175’s registration system, then lunch and dinners at ExCeL London for all delegate tickets. The last meal will be breakfast on Thursday 8 August at delegates accommodation before depature.

We want all people with disabilities to enjoy YMCA175. If you require a modification or have accessibility requirement, please select the request during the registration process. A member of our team may contact you. However, any questions that you may have can also be sent to 175@ymcaeurope.com.

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VOLUNTEERING

Anyone that is 18 years or older as of August 1 2019 can apply to volunteer, there is no upper age limit.

When you apply to volunteer, you won’t be asked to select a specific role, but asked for your experience, skills and interests in certain areas. Based on this information the Volunteer team will make selections of successful candidates.

The areas of experience, skills and interests we will be asking are:

Accommodation support; communication, media and social; counselling and mentoring; ecumenical and spiritual support; environmental support; information desk; panel education or session facilitation; pastoral support; physical activity and sport support and facilitation; production and technical support; public speaking; registration support; runner (general support); spiritual and ecumenical development; ticket checks; training facilitation; venue arrivals and venue departures; wayfinding and information at transport hubs; and youth work.

There will be opportunities to list additional skills and experience through the application process.

To apply to volunteer for YMCA175 you will need to click ‘REGISTER’ in the main menu. You will be asked to submit up to two references as part of the process.

Once you have applied, your YMCA National Movement will have to approve your application, we will then email your references to ask them to submit information about you.

When all this information has been collated, the Volunteer Manager will review applications in batches, this process may take 4 to 6 weeks. You will find out either way if your application has been successful or not. If successful, you will be asked to make payment of £180 to confirm your place.

We would love to meet everyone before the event, but as we are unable to do so, we ask those who know you to tell us how great you are.

Your most recent employer or someone who can describe you personally can provide your reference. However, your reference cannot be related to you. A second reference will help strengthen your application.

As soon as your application is approved by your YMCA’s National Coordinator, we will contact your referee(s). They will be asked to complete a standard form with information on your character. To help with the process we recommend asking your referees permission prior to putting their details to help the reference to be completed in a timely manner.

There are two types of volunteers. The first will build and break-down the event before delegates arrive and after they leave, the second will be involved with the running of YMCA175 while delegates are in attendance. When applying you can apply to both teams if you would like to.

We will be asking for your skills, experience and interests during the application process, and if you have specific skills that match to certain roles we are looking for we will let you know.

The Volunteer Manager will assign you to a role and you will volunteer for approximately six hours per day, allowing you spare time to take part in the conference as a delegate.

If you are on the build and break-down team you will arrive on Friday 2 August, begin volunteer duties on Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August, and then resume duties during the closing ceremony on Wednesday 7 August.

You will receive all training and induction required for you to excel in your role as a volunteer.

There is designated accommodation for volunteers in hostels 15 minutes from ExCeL London, which is included in the £180 volunteer price.

Volunteers will be fed only when they are due to be on duty from Friday 2 August through until Thursday 8 August.

On Monday 5, Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 August all volunteers will be fed, even if they are not on duty. Breakfast is included with your hostel accommodation, lunch and dinner will be provided at the venue.

Volunteers must be 18 or over by 1 July 2019 to be eligible to volunteer at YMCA175. Anyone is welcome to apply to volunteer as we will need a diverse set of skills and backgrounds to facilitate this global youth event. This includes young leaders, YMCA staff, existing volunteers, board members and trustees, senior leadership!

This will £180, and includes the same as a delegate pass (hostel accommodation 15 minutes from the venue), travel around London, all meals and an extra nights (or two nights) stay for those who would be required early.

We will have two types of volunteers. The first type is a team to build and break down the event. This will involve arriving one or two days early. Once the build is complete this team will be free to take part in YMCA175 as delegates. The breakdown of some areas of event will begin during the closing ceremony.

The second group of volunteers will be responsible for helping us to run YMCA175 from when it opens to when it closes (for a minimum of six hours per day). The roles will include help delegates with collecting their accreditation, wayfinding at hotels and airports, programme assistance, facilitation, technical crew, media support, stewarding and running information points.

When registration opens in late August 2018, there will be an option to apply to be a volunteer. This will involve a slightly different registration process, where you will need to be approved by your National Coordinator, provide a personal reference, before the Volunteer Manager makes a final selection.

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ACCOMMODATION

If you have booked as a small family (of up to 6 people) with hostel accommodation, we will endeavour to provide you with a private room at one of our London hostels. We do have a number of private rooms for families, but they are limited.

If you have booked a ticket without accommodation, and are looking to book a 3 or 4 star hotel room for your family you will be given access to the hotel portal at the end of the registration process.

Hostel accommodation is typically a more budget-option style of accommodation, ranging from twin rooms (limited) to large dormitory style rooms. Shower facilities are available in all hostels with limited rooms having en-suite facilities.

All hostels have communal areas available for delegates use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bed linen, continental breakfast and WiFi  (all delegates will have breakfast at hostels).

The Delegate with hostel accommodation package price includes accommodation from Sunday 4 August to after breakfast on the morning of Thursday 8 August.  Check out time for most hostels is 10.00am.  Some hostels have limited storage facilities for suitcases if you are leaving later in the day.

 

Delegates must bring their own towels.  Some hostels may have towels to rent.

Hotels are booked separately with with our official hotel partner, Congrex Switzerland, that offer highly dedicated customer service and professional support for all your accommodation needs. Early booking is highly recommended as rooms traditionally sell fast in prime locations. If you are only booking one or two rooms, go to the Hotel Portal here, if you need to book a group of hotel rooms, this must be done by emailing hotel.ymca@congrex.com who will be able to assist you with your requirements.

If you wish to book a hotel for your stay with us at YMCA175, then choose the delegate without accommodation ticket, you can then book a hotel room at a range of 2 to 4 star hotels. On average, hotel nights will be between £90 and £130.

Yes! We’ve worked with our hotel partner, Congrex Switzerland to get the best deals on a range of 2, 3 and 4 star hotels within a few minutes walking distance of ExCeL London. If you are only booking one or two rooms, go to the Hotel Portal here.

Larger group bookings cannot be made online as different terms and conditions apply. For further information, up to date availability and reservation, please contact our partners directly at hotel.ymca@congrex.com

Due to the location of the hostels and the travel to ExCeL London we recommend wheelchair users or people with mobility issues book a hotel room as these are situated closer to the venue. However, any questions that you may have around accessibility at YMCA175, our accommodation options or transport can also be sent to 175[at]ymcaeurope.com.

There are very limited single rooms available. If you would like a single or double room guaranteed we would recommend booking a hotel using the YMCA175 Hotel Portal with our Hotel Partner, Congrex. Visit this here.

Most hostels have staff on duty 24 hours a day, YMCA175 Volunteers will also be situated within most of our hostels for any assistance required.

Every person has access to a locker within the hostels, some provide these free of charge others have a small fee (approximately £2.50 per day) or you can bring your own small padlock with you.

Under 18’s are welcome at all hostels and hotels, however, they must be accompanied by a group leader.

All hostels are around the centre of London with a commute of between 20-60 minutes (depending on location) to the venue via public transport.  A ticket for the London Underground and extensive London bus network is included with all delegate tickets and volunteer places. Hotels are situated within a few minutes walking distance of ExCeL London.

Yes, you can book your own accommodation.  If you wish to book your own accommodation when booking your ticket click the link for ‘delegate ticket’ only.

We have worked closely with our accommodation partners HostelWorld and Congrex to provide a range of accommodation to suit all requirements and budgets, personally visiting the sites of nearly all accommodation offers to ensure quality, suitability, safety and comfort have all been taken into account.

We have worked very closely with our travel partners to negotiate good rates with hostels and hotels. If you are booking a delegate only ticket, you will be given the option to add hotel accommodation to your booking through our portal with Congrex which can be found here.  To find out more about accommodation and our hotels go to https://ymca175.com/accommodation/

There are some camp sites within approximately 60-90 minutes travel of ExCeL London.

These include (but not exclusively)

South London Scout Centre

Abbey Wood Caravan Club Site

Lee Valley Camping

Please note that the YMCA175 and the European Alliance of YMCAs take no responsibility or liability for any person or group who chose to camp.

If you plan to travel to and from the venue each day from home or another type of accommodation you have made your own arrangements for, simply choose the Delegate only package.

Yes, you will be asked as part of the registration process. Additional nights stay will be subject to availability and an additional costs.

YMCA175 will only enquire into additional nights stay in hostel accommodation Wednesday 31 July, Thursday 1, Friday 2, Saturday 3, Thursday 8, Friday 9 and Saturday 10 August. Additional hostel nights will cost between £20 and £45.

If you are planning on booking a hotel through YMCA175’s official hotel accommodation portal with our partners Congrex Switzerland, you will be able to select your own check-in and check-out dates. On average, hotel nights will be between £90 and £130. If you are only booking one or two rooms, go to the Hotel Portal here, if you need to book a group of hotel rooms, this must be done by emailing hotel.ymca@congrex.com who will be able to assist you with your requirements.

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TRAVEL AND THE UNITED KINGDOM

With every four-day event access delegate ticket for YMCA175 a public transport pass is included. For the majority of delegates, this can be collected from ExCeL London upon arrival on Sunday 4 August (between 12pm and 8pm) as part of accreditation.

The travel pass includes London Underground for zones 1 to 3 (London Underground is split into 6 zones, see the map here). Zones 1 to 3 will include all YMCA175 hostel locations to allow delegates to travel to and from their accommodation and the venue.

Delegates will need to arrange their own airport transfers to accommodation/ExCeL London upon arrival. Onward travel on the departure day (Thursday 8 August) to airports / transport hubs as this public transport pass does not include airport transfers.

The UK’s exit from the European Union will have no impact on travel for citizens of these countries, in fact from June 2019 it will be easier for citizens of these countries to arrive into the UK.

From June, citizens of these countries will be permitted to use e-gates at UK airports and at Eurostar terminals. This will significantly reduce queues and improve the flow of passengers and the overall experience at the UK border.

Additionally, landing cards will also begin to be abolished from June 2019. This will reduce bureaucracy for travellers and speed up the processing of passengers on arrival in the UK.

For more information go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/epassport-gates-to-ease-travel-for-passengers-from-more-countries

In short – no. The UK Government has published guidance for inbound travellers from the EU and rest of the world post the EU exit. You can access this information here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visiting-the-uk-after-brexit

The key points from this advice are:

  • the UK will continue to be visa-free for EU nationals; 
  • what you need to show at the UK border will not change, even if the UK leaves the EU without a deal (EU nationals can still use ID cards in short term and e-gates when travelling on passports), 
  • in the event of a ‘no deal’ exit, EU nationals can still visit/work/study in the UK for up to 3 months, then apply for European temporary leave to remain for 36 months.

The UK Government website will continue to be updated on a regular basis and we will alert you to any significant changes.

Clearing Immigration (after arriving at Heathrow and Gatwick airports) can be faster if you are a national of Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand or the USA and regularly fly in to Heathrow or Gatwick airports.

You will need to apply to join the Registered Traveller Service, please follow this link: https://www.gov.uk/registered-traveller.

Once you are registered you will:

  • Be able to use ePassport gates (if you have a biometric passport)
  • Be able to use UK/EU channel (at Heathrow airport) or the special Registered Traveller lane (at Gatwick airport)
  • Not need to fill in a landing card.

In the majority of cases you will need to arrange your own transit from your arrival point in the UK, to your Discovery Visit start location, or from the end location to YMCA175 in London. You can book train tickets via trainline.com and nationalrail.com

YMCAs in the UK and Ireland are made up of three National Movements, YMCA England & Wales (www.ymca.org.uk), YMCA Scotland (www.ymcascotlandreport.org) and YMCA Ireland, which covers YMCAs based in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland (www.ymca-ireland.net).

London has six international airports, all are accessible from the venue on public transport, below is some basic information, however for more information on air travel and selecting your airport go to ExCeL London’s website.  For planning purposes, here are four major airports are within proximity of ExCeL London. London Luton and London Southend Airports are also commutable but are smaller airports, and slightly further from the venue.

  • London City Airport (10 minutes to ExCeL London , direct on the Docklands Light Railway (DLR))

London City Airport is the closest airport to ExCeL London, taking 5 to 10 minutes to travel direct to the venue.

  • Heathrow Airport (90 minutes to ExCeL London, travel on London Underground, with changes)
  • Stansted Airport (90 minutes by public transport, with changes)
  • Gatwick Airport (90 minutes by public transport, with changes)

The best way to travel to and from the venue, and around London is the London Underground (or ‘tube’). A ticket for the London Underground for the duration of YMCA175 will be included with all delegate tickets and volunteer places. This will also give you access to London’s extensive bus network, too. Your ticket does not include airport transfers, which is best carried out on public transport.

An optional programme of Discovery and Study Visits will be offered to groups registering for YMCA175 to visit YMCAs in London and across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland before and/or after the event. Groups will be able to register an interest in taking part in Discovery and Study Visits as part of the registration process. A coordinator will then be in touch with more information later in 2018 / early 2019.

August is the United Kingdom’s hottest month, with average temperatures starting at 18 degrees Celsius, but can be as high as 28 to 32 degrees Celsius in London, and is mainly dry with little rainfall usually. However, the weather in the UK can still be unpredictable, and it is recommended that you pack for some rain still for travel to and from ExCeL London. The majority of YMCA175’s programme will take place inside, with some activities outside.

This will be included as part of your registration, and will come from YMCA175 hosts, YMCA England & Wales. Once you register to attend YMCA175, are approved by your National Coordinator (where relevant) and make payment to attend, you will be reserved accommodation which will trigger an automatic email with your Visa letter. Please note, accommodation is subject to change from what is given for your Visa invitation letter.

Your letter will also be available for you to download from your delegate portal in the registration system. If you are applying to volunteer, your Visa initiation letter will only be issued once your application has been accepted to volunteer and payment made.

If you are registering a group to attend YMCA175, Visa invitation letters will only be issued for delegates that have all details required completed.

Visa information can be found at the UK Home Office. If you need to contact UK Visas about your existing application please go here. It is recommended that if you require a Visa, that you complete registration as early as possible so that the process of issuing a Visa invitation letter can begin.

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If your question is not answered here, please get in touch through the contact form.

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