YMCA George Williams College Update


Dear Friends and Colleagues,


We reported to you in October 2019  that YMCA George Williams College will be ceasing all current activities by the end of 2021. As well as wrapping up these activities we are working to ensure the last 50 years of youth work education and research is protected for the future.

We are taking a staged approach to teach-out and cessation of the College’s current activities are now at phase three of this process having completed our FE programmes, apprenticeships and research projects.

Our priorities for the next 9 months are threefold:

  1. Current Students – To ensure that remaining students on our undergraduate youth work programmes are able to end well, amidst what has been a period of uncertainty being part of a College that is winding up its teaching activities, and the COVID-19 pandemic. We are holding true to the principles of critical reflective practice and inclusive education, as we support our students in the final stages of their professional formation with the College. We are extremely grateful to those who continue to make this possible.


  1. Heritage – Looking forward we are developing a digital platform which will provide a touch stone for those who want to continue engaging with the College. With this in mind, we are at a stage where we would like to reach out to all those who have been a part of the College over the past 50 years to take part in an oral history project which will showcase our history going forward, alongside our course materials, research and archives.


  1. New structure – The College plans to continue its charitable activities, albeit with a lighter footprint in the short-term. We continue to fulfil our financial obligations and look to build on our legacy through our heritage programme and, new collaborations and partnerships. More details on this will follow over the coming months.


The Board  remains thankful to all the YMCAs, students, tutors, academic staff, supervisors, administrators and practice placements whose continued hard work and dedication has supported us through this transitional period in the College’s history. We believe that there may be a different future for the charity which will build on the College’s  50-year legacy and meet the changing needs of youth work education in the 21st century.



Please do continue to watch this space for further updates. In the meantime, if you have any questions or you would like to find out more about the College’s Oral History Project, please contact Lorna Hayne, Project Manager, at l.hayne@ymca.ac.uk, or Simon Frost, Director of Academic Planning and Strategy at s.frost@ymca.ac.uk.

With thanks,



Lindsay Sartori