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CYI and GWC - FAQs

In Spring 2022, two leading youth charities - the Centre for Youth Impact and YMCA George Williams College – intend to unite to improve the quality of support and opportunities for young people in the UK.

Read the full announcement here. If you would like to help influence our work and stay up to date with the latest developments, register your interest here.

When will the merger take place?

Both charities have been in discussions and undertaking relevant due diligence and legal preparations for a merger for some months now. As is standard in such a process, this will require further engagement with the Charity Commission. We hope to have concluded the legal process by the end of March 2022. This process will depend on further discussion and consultation with our network members and stakeholders. 

Why have you decided to merge?

Both organisations share a commitment to supporting and developing practitioners who work with young people, and bringing together the fields of research and practice. By coming together, we will better be able to improve the quality of support and opportunities for young people in the UK. 2021 also marks a significant milestone for the College, as it looks ahead to the end of its teaching, and plans for its future. This moment represents an opportunity to secure the future of the College, celebrate its rich legacy, and create the opportunity to develop a new learning ‘offer’ drawing on the College’s experience of distance learning.

Will the Centre become a member of the YMCA Federation?

Yes, at the point of merger, as part of the combined charity. Our intent is for the combined charity to retain George Williams College’s membership of YMCA England and Wales. As with all YMCAs, the combined charity will be operationally independent of the YMCA National Council. 

Founded in London in 1844 as the Young Men’s Christian Association, YMCA has grown to reach over 60 million people a year across 120 countries. The YMCA is an inclusive and ecumenical Christian movement that welcomes people of all faiths and none. The Centre shares the YMCA vision of supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.  

What will happen to the staff at the Centre? Will my contact change?

We are delighted that our current staff team will continue their work in the combined organisation. Any staff affected by the merger have been informed and consulted through the process to date, and this will continue. We do not intend there to be any redundancies through the merger process.  Any current staff contact will not change. 

What will happen to the staff at the College?

There are no full-time staff remaining at the College, as of 31 October 2021. We are continuing to work with a small number of supervisors who are supporting the final students to complete their qualifications at the end of January 2022.

What will the governance arrangements be for the combined charity?

The existing trustees of the Centre for Youth Impact will join the remaining trustees of the College to form a newly expanded Board of Trustees from early 2022. The combined charity will be chaired by Martin Houghton Brown, the current Chair of the Centre for Youth Impact. The combined organisation will continue to be an independent charity. 

Do you intend to restart the College’s degree and other courses?

No. As announced in October 2019 and April 2021, YMCA George Williams College concludes its teaching and will have completed all planned delivery by January 2022. This remains on track. There are no current plans for the combined organisation to deliver a higher education degree or masters programme, but we will be developing a new learning ‘offer’ building on YMCA George Williams College’s experience of distance learning. 

I am currently participating in a project with the Centre for Youth Impact. How will I be affected?

We intend to continue all current Centre for Youth Impact projects as planned. In the short term, the same team will continue to deliver all the Centre’s current work. We have already started discussing with our funders and partners any required changes to contracts or agreements due to the legal merger. As we look to develop our new strategy, we will be considering how we can draw together the resources and intellectual property of the combined organisation to best effect. 

What will the combined organisation be called?

No decisions as yet have been made on the name of the combined charity. Over the next few months, we will be building the combined charity’s new strategy and talking with youth organisations and practitioners before making a final decision on our name. 

How will this change the areas of work the organisations typically engaged in?

There is a significant overlap between the values and recent activities of the two charities, including a vision that all young people in the UK have access to high quality relational practice that supports their social and emotional learning. 

The combined charity will work collaboratively with partners across the youth sector to develop shared approaches to learning, evaluation, and continuous improvement to achieve this vision. We will use the experience of YMCA George Williams College to further enhance support to practitioners alongside wider practice and organisational development. 

I used to study at YMCA George Williams College. What does this mean for me?

We will continue to answer queries from former students. You also have the opportunity to shape the future of the combined organisation. To register to stay informed about the merger and work of the combined charity, sign up here.

I’m currently engaging with the Centre’s measurement tools/training, will these still be available to me?


Will the combined charity still deliver youth-focused research/impact evaluation?


I’m interested in hearing more about your future plans, how can I stay in the loop?

To register to stay informed about the merger and work of the combined charity, sign up here.