Local History

In 1997, Barry YMCA was near closure, no money, building in disrepair , four staff members and the only activity keeping the centre open was gymnastics. Staff changes took place, a new management team formed and a development plan put in place to turn the centre around. £250,000 was raised to renew the leaking roof, window and doors, purchase new gymnastic apparatus, new heating system and a lick of paint.

In recognition for the work undertaken the team were nominated to the “National Charity Awards 2000” and were runners up in the “Excellence in Charity Management” category.

The improved centre and increased programme of activities was attracting new members and hirers and soon found itself looking at plans to develop the derelict land to the east side of the building to extend the centre.

In 2003/04 a design team were appointed and fundraising to extend and refurbish the centre began.

By September 2004, £2.3 million was secured and the scheme went out to tender. The 52 week build started January 2005 and completed on time January 06. Continuous fundraising throughout the project raised an additional £500,000 to ensure the centre was to the highest standard possible for the community it serves.

A key factor to the success of the project was a three year revenue grant provided by the Execution Charitable Trust to employ a project/fundraising manager to ensure the Hub project timescales were kept to.

Barry YMCA in 2009 :

  • Generates income through the sale of membership services, the hire of rooms and continuous fundraising,
  • Employs 46 people,
  • Supported by 38 dedicated volunteers,
  • Home to five other Charities,
  • Home to one small business,
  • Home to a dedicated day unit for adults with multiple disabilities.

An average attendance per week at the Y:

  • 1,154 children and young people attending activities a minimum of once per week,
  • 3000 parents, public and hirers.

Based at the Y:

  • 11 full time staff,
  • 71 part time staff.

Mrs Anthea Clements (CEO)

Barry Y.M.C.A established in Barry town in 1890 has moved into the 21 st century.

The YMCA HUB capital project costing £2,748,013 was successfully completed in January 2006 and the new centre opened its doors to members on 12th January. Sandwiched between Court road and Gladstone road it is undoubtedly one of the most ambitious and impressive facilities that Barry has ever witnessed.

The building has been heaped with praise, not just from residents of the town, but from visitors and esteemed dignitaries alike. It’s not difficult to understand why, even the exterior is alien to its surroundings, an intensely modern architectural construction with a grandiose logo emblazoned as a striking facade.

The interior follows in a similar vein, the first feature you see is the foyer leading into the restaurant with lighting descending like space ship illuminations and changing colour depending on the outside daylight. It is a welcoming introduction to this innovative new building, the unbelievable end product of a rejuvenated Barry YMCA.

This accessible multi-purpose building provides a diverse programme of educational, sporting, arts, social, recreational and support services to the community contributing to the delivery andpromotion of health and well being in the community.

There are six main themes of the building, all finished to the highest quality:-

  • Dance studio;
  • Gymnastic gymnasium;
  • Activity room;
  • Office
  • Training rooms, Meeting and conference rooms space
  • Dedicated day unit for adults with learning difficulties
YMCA Dance is offered in partnership with VIBE delivering street, contemporary, and urban classes for children and adults.

YMCA Gymnastics offers both artistic and rhythmic gym to boys and girls aged 3 – 20 years with an outstanding 750 children attending each week. Classes are held every day at the centre starting with daytime class Gymjynx for 3-4 year through to advanced classes which have Commonwealth Games standard gymnasts all coached by a dedicated qualified coaching team.

All training, meeting and conference rooms are modern light and airy. The largest room the “Gladstone” comfortably seats 190 in both conference style seating and dining layouts. Other rooms can accommodate numbers from 5 to 50 and are all accessible to the internet on request.

Many community groups and other charities use the Hub each week to deliver their services including The Shaw Trust, Cruse Bereavement Care, to name but a few.

The funding for the Hub project was received from European Regional Development Fund (Obj 2 T), Welsh Assembly Government, Lottery, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Dow Corning, Welsh Development Agency and Welsh Church Act.

Chief Executive Officer and Project Development Manager, Anthea Clements, was responsible for the project and was acknowledged and rewarded by the Institute of Fundraising as the Best New Fundraiser in the UK 2005 and received the award at the Hilton Hotel, London at the annual awards ceremony.

Colleagues from Barry and four other YMCA organisations were present at the awards in support of Anthea.