The event



At YMCA we know that young people have a passion and commitment to social justice and positive cultural change through promoting global equity and diversity.

Taking place at ExCeL London, YMCA175 is a global youth event that will have elements of a conference, summit and celebration, that will be a living embodiment of YMCA, bringing together thousands of young leaders and YMCA senior leaders and networks from around the world.

The event aims to connect YMCA’s global movement to build relationships and strengthen cross-cultural understanding, celebrate 175 years of YMCA’s impact on youth and communities around the world, and create solutions to address social challenges.


YMCA is a global organisation with a presence in 120 countries and all YMCAs are invited to send delegates and actively engage in YMCA175. The primary audience for YMCA175 is young leaders aged 16-35.

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.


YMCA175 will present a programme of content tailored to youth leadership that is fun, engaging, dynamic and challenging. There will also be training streams and programme activities relevant to other YMCA groups such as senior leaders, volunteers, retirees and YMCA staff.

The programme will include thought-provoking lectures and interactive workshops, innovative collaborative sessions and open seminars, inspiring keynote speakers and a broad choice of training and education.

A space dedicated to sport, health and wellbeing will provide activities for delegates to engage and participate in, while also exploring YMCA’s long history with physical activity.

Elements of the programme will celebrate YMCA’s Christian identity, heritage, interfaith dialogue and ecumenical traditions, and deepen delegates understanding of YMCA and youth empowerment in 2019 and beyond. In the main event auditorium there will be a programme of concerts, keynote speakers, worship and performances, putting young people’s voices at the heart of the event.

There will be interactive exhibitions to learn from Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), public and private sector organisations, businesses and brands, media partners from around the world, as well as YMCA’s history and heritage on display.

Click here for checking our frequently asked questions on the event, to help find answers that we may already have answered.

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

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