YMCA welcomes thousands of young people to London for YMCA175 youth event


YMCA175 will host more than 3,000 young people aged 16-35 from around the globe at ExCeL London on 4-8 August. Celebrating its 175th anniversary, YMCA aims to connect its global community to build relationships, create solutions to address social challenges, and explore ways to shape a positive and sustainable future for the world.

The event will pay particular focus on the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals through YMCA’s key pillars of work around Health, Environment, Economic Empowerment and Civic Engagement.

Keynote Speakers include TED-Ed’s Ashley Kolaya, Amnesty International’s Kumi Naidoo, and the Most Revd and Rt Honourable Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and President of YMCA England & Wales.

Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu said:

“YMCA175 is an event that embodies all that YMCA stands for. It’s a chance for young people to connect with their peers, to explore and discuss their ideas for change in their communities and to celebrate the joy of a global youth movement that really is a force for good. I’m thrilled to be a speaker at the event and to be a part of it.”

Each day the event will kick off with a plenary featuring keynote speakers and TED-style talks from young people. Themed, expert-led panels will take place each afternoon along with more than 200 workshops across the event. A YMCA Heritage Exhibition will also preview at the event before embarking on a national tour supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Denise Hatton, Chief Executive, YMCA England & Wales, said:

“We are thrilled to have this event taking place in the city where YMCA was founded 175 years ago. YMCA175 offers a unique opportunity for young leaders from across the globe to come together and shape a better future.

“Whether it is ensuring that we have a sustainable planet; that work provides value and purpose; or that everyone has the chance to lead healthy lives; young people must be the driving force behind creating solutions to these big issues.

“Through YMCA175 young people will debate, collaborate and set an agenda for the future that finally delivers for all generations.”

YMCA175 is organised by YMCA Europe, hosted by YMCA England & Wales, and supported by partners World YMCA, YMCA of the USA and YMCA World Urban Network. Key sponsors include Delta Air Lines, Wells Fargo and Viacom.