Here for Plymouth since 1848

Our Timeline

– First YMCA meeting in Plymouth

1887 – YMCA founder George Williams visits to open new Plymouth YMCA building at 14 Bedford Street

1890 – Devonport YMCA was established

1914-1918 – WWI- the Association opens a servicemen’s hostel in Union Street

  • During World War 1 the British YMCA extended its work across the Channel to support the troops.  YMCA marquees provided soldiers with food, drink and free writing paper and envelopes.

1921 – YMCA locates to Old Town Street with a residential home at 13 Lockyer Street and is running the Kitto Institute in Palace Street

1940 – YMCA Devonport opens a canteen in Devonport for servicemen

1941 – During the first night of the Plymouth Blitz, YMCA Plymouth headquarters in Old Town Street is destroyed.  Its residential hostel in Lockyer Street took a direct hit killing 5 staff, 3 residents and 3 visitors.  For the remainder of WW11 YMCA is housed at Peverell Park Villa.

1955 – Centennial of the World YMCA held in Paris.  Michael Reburn, Trustee, YMCA Plymouth, attended this event.

1958 – The new YMCA in Cobourg Street with 102 bedrooms and a waitress service restaurant was opened by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh on Wednesday 14th May.

1960 – Despite it being a particularly challenging financial year for Plymouth YMCA, a group of its young people entertain some 30 orphans during the afternoon, before going out on the town to usher in the New Year.

1964 – Founded by Plymouth YMCA, the Ocean Youth Club receives the donation of the St. Kilda, a single screw Challenger-class yacht; used as its headquarters for coastal navigational training and accommodation for young people. Later in the year the club launched its new 38ft. cutter Pelican of Plymouth

1972 – First YMCA Charity Shop opens in Crownhill; and in 1973 another opens in Crobourg Street.

 1974 – Kitto Sports Centre on Honicknowle Lane is officially opened.

1981 – Plymouth YMCA leases Bachelors Hall from the Duchy of Cornwall; and converts the old barn into an adventure centre for young people.

1987 – Seb Coe, as Vice Chairman of the Sports Council, visits Plymouth YMCA Kitto Centre to launch the Action Sport project.

1990 – The Triangle Centre and cafe opens in Cobourg Street.

1998 – Plymouth YMCA celebrates 150 years.

2005 – Plymouth YMCA works with NHS Plymouth to restart community based cardiac rehabilitation services.

2007 – Award winning gym model is developed in a local medical centre in collaboration with NHS Plymouth.

2007 – Torpoint and Rame Community Sports Centre comes under Plymouth YMCA management

2010 – Plymouth YMCA spearheads the development of the Honicknowle Partnership of Extended Services

2013 – YMCA Plymouth launches it’s inclusive sport programme for young people with additional needs

2014 – YMCA Celebrates its 170th year