Our philosophy and values
YMCA Invercargill’s strategic plan is driven by the recognition that we are part of a movement that puts the emphasis on providing the building blocks that enable people to live rewarding lives.
Our values are about being proactive and responsible to each other and our community:
Our focus is on service that recognise the importance of holistic development (mind, body and spirit). We to help people take control of their lives and make a difference. Social responsibility matters to us and we strive to do our bit in responding to the needs of our community.
The YMCA in Invercargill
1876: The YMCA Invercargill started with the first formal meeting 18 July 1876
1896: First building opened on Kelvin Street
1910: The Foundation stones was laid for the Tay St building
1929: Went in to recess
1938: Re-started and was apparently driven by a local Rotary Club
1960: The stadium was opened
1993: Purchase of the Railway Station
The YMCA in New Zealand
Since 1855, the YMCA has been working to achieve its vision of building strong kids, strong families and strong communities in effect, growing great New Zealanders.
The YMCA even deployed with our forces in the two world wars providing rest and recreation facilities and canteen services in all the theatres in which our troops operated. It would be hard to find a family in New Zealand who has not had a connection with the YMCA at some stage in their life and we are proud to have been part of the history of this country almost from the very beginning.
Today, the YMCA, through its 13 member associations, operates throughout New Zealand from around 40 sites and increasingly, YMCAs are providing off-site delivery of programmes and services to cater for their local community needs.
The YMCA is a registered charity.
The YMCA globally
The YMCA movement was started in 1844 in London, England where tens of thousands of young men had flocked to take advantage of the available work in the middle of the industrial revolution.
The YMCA was initially conceived as a bible study group for these young men. It quickly became apparent that this fledging organisation was more than just bible study. It was about providing a safe and supportive environment for young men (and later, young women) who were without the normal support structures of family and community.
By 1855 the YMCA movement had spread internationally and the first New Zealand YMCA opened in Auckland. It was also in that year that the New Zealand Parliament was established and the YMCA World Alliance was formed in Paris. The ìParis Basisî became the agreement on which National YMCAs were affiliated to the World Alliance.
The YMCA is no longer an organisation for young men nor is it a religious organisation restricted to those of the Christian faith. The YMCA today is an organisation based on sound values and is deeply rooted in communities serving the needs of everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, beliefs or social background. It is one of the most recognisable and valuable brands in the world!