In preparation of celebrating the 175th Anniversary of this transformational global movement, YMCA175 is looking for nominations from National Councils for stories of prominent individuals and moments in our history.

YMCA175 will reflect the influences that have shaped YMCA as a movement and will capture stories from our heritage around the world, telling the untold stories and telling afresh the stories we already know about significant events and individuals.

The experience will serve as recognition of the tremendous gift George Williams gave to the world when he formed YMCA and honour that memory by sharing the fruit of his legacy; YMCA’s collective history. In order to tell a cohesive, diverse and global history stories will be based around YMCA’s global themes of Civic Engagement, Economic Empowerment, Health and Environment. 

Stories will illuminate the totality of YMCA’s movement and encourage submissions on a broad-spectrum of sub-issues within the four key themes. This, for example, could be around wellbeing, peace, social inclusion, democracy, education, refugees, volunteering, employment, the health of our planet, YMCA’s Christian heritage and ecumenical cooperation.

YMCA175 is expecting stories from diverse groups of young people from around the world and wants them to be able to see a reflection of themselves in the experience they have at YMCA175. The stories can be submitted in a number of forms, they can be written word, video or recorded word / audio / interview.

Many stories that have been passed down through the generations and through our partner agencies, YMCA175 may be able to assist in basic research and fact-checking. If this is the case please send your story suggestions as early as possible to ensure their consideration for inclusion.

YMCA175 is here to help point you in the right direction on this. Within the YMCA175 Heritage Programme team are representatives of the World Alliance Archive, in Geneva; Kautz Family YMCA Archive, USA; Springfield College Archive, USA; and the UK Archive which is held in the Cadbury Research Library, in Birmingham, England.

Initially please submit an expression of interest for each story you wish to tell, with basic details of the story by 29 January 2019.

Once stories have been chosen by the YMCA175 team, all submissions will be notified. Those that are successful will be expected to submit the finished piece by the final date of 30 April 2019. Any enquiries should be sent to Ken Montgomery – ken.montgomery[at]