About Us

100 Years of Investing in the Next Generation

In 2017 YMCA South & Mid Canterbury celebrates 100 Years of ‘Investing in the Next Generation’ – yes, we’ve been serving our community for 100 years!

Underpinning all our work are the YMCA values of Caring, Respect, Honesty and Responsibility. We’re a not-for-profit organisation, whose programmes and services – provided at no or minimal cost to participants – impact the lives of in excess of 4500 people every year across our region.

We were named the 2016 SC Business Excellence Award Community Organisation Category Winner, in recognition of the difference we make in our community.

“Because the YMCA is an iconic, internationally recognised brand, people often have an idea of what we do locally. But we invite you to re-think what you may know about YMCA South & Mid Canterbury.”

Because the YMCA is an iconic, internationally recognised brand, people often have an idea of what we do locally. But we invite you to re-think what you may know about YMCA South & Mid Canterbury.

Think education.

We call it ‘Education, Training and Personal Development’. We have awarded a record number of NCEA Level 1 and 2 and other national qualifications to participants in our BodyMindSpirit, Vision Youth and Opihi Services Academy Youth Guarantee programmes – impressive, considering these are learners who had disengaged from mainstream education. That’s because in working with our learners we develop their belief in their ability to succeed.

Through our Skills4Life programme, we work with people ages 16-64 for whom reading, writing and maths is a real challenge. And we do similar work with employers to upskill their employees through our new Workplace Literacy & Numeracy Programme. Without these basic skills, many doors in life are closed – we help to open them.

Think support-to-employment services.

We help get beneficiaries back to work through our Drive2Work and WorkFit programmes. We identify and address the barriers that prevent them from being employed, and support them into permanent sustainable employment. We also help people gain their full car driver’s licence (an important step toward employability) through our new Driving School.

Think community and youth development.

We call it ‘developing the potential in young people’. Our OSCAR and Breakaway holiday programmes, KiwiSportArchery Club and Bubble Football Leagues offer fun, confidence-building activities in a safe, supportive environment.

Through our Resiliency Toolkit we’re working ‘at the top of the cliff’ with 14-18 year olds in schools across the region to build important life skills in stress management, decision-making around alcohol and drugs, healthy relationships, cybersafety and peer mentoring — our goal is preventing them from becoming ‘at risk’.

We also provide one-on-one support to at risk youth through our NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) service in Ashburton and our Youth Mentoring service in Timaru.

Our recent three-year Investing in Youth Project delivered many successes: scyouth.co.nz ‘virtual youth hub’ website, a year-long pilot with several of our largest employers of the Work Inspiration workforce development programme, annual district-wide Youth Surveys, MAKE THINGS HAPPEN Youth Hui, collaborative Youth Sector Network, Youth Action Plan, and our popular Investing in Youth Facebook page showcasing the positive contributions of young people.

We have a staff of 19 incredibly dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to make a difference to so many. We’re your YMCA. Still here after nearly 100 years. Still investing in the next generation.