What we do
Young people are very much at the heart of our work and are the reason why the YMCA movement began all those year ago and they continue to be the reason why we exist today. However, with all sorts of technology dominating young people's lives, it is more difficult to attract and engage young adults in traditional 'youth club culture' and this is why Kilmarnock YMCA Plus encourages membership at the very tender age of 5 years.
Our aim is to get children fully engaged in activities and bring them up through the ranks of youth club culture so that by the time they are hitting those more difficult teenage years, they know we are there for them, but more importantly, they are still with us. When our youngest members are with us in the YMCA, we want to make sure their experience is as enjoyable and interesting as possible. Since 2013, the YKids Club for 5-11 years and the Senior Youth Club 12-17 years has been a huge success with as many as 90 children and young adults registered as members and, on average, 40 attending every week.
YKids meet every Wednesday evening between 6pm and 8pm and enjoy a structured programme of activities as well as free time to participate in activities of their choice. The first hour is free time to allow them to settle in and talk with friends that they perhaps haven't seen in a week. Our young members attend a number of different primary schools across Kilmarnock and surrounding areas. We then bring them together to participate in a specific activity. Children who wish to opt out of structured activities can do so but we do try to encourage participation. When a child is registered as a member by his/her parent or guardian, s/he also completes a questionnaire asking what type of activities they would like to see on offer at their club and we always, resources allowing, try to accommodate their requests. We have two volunteers who consult with our younger members to develop the activities programme.
New members can purchase a YKids Polo shirt in red for a subsidised cost of £3.
All activities are delivered by committed volunteers who have been recruited and trained in line with Kilmarnock YMCA's volunteer recruitment policy and procedures including disclosure checks.