Barbados - National Council of YMCAs

Date of foundation of the YMCA: 1880
Membership Status:
Related Member


Brief YMCA History

The Barbados YMCA was formed in 1880, 36 years after the 1844  start of the movement in the UK, thanks to the enthusiasm of Admiral Henry Duncan Grant, CB, RN, who visited in the island in 1879. Mr. John Brathwaite was the first President and Mr. Malby Trimingham, First Honourary Secretary. The first meetings were held in school rooms, and then rented rooms of WL Johnson Company, 49 Roebuck Street, and Manning's & Company at Cavan’s Lane.

During the Second World War it played a major role in service to many British naval personnel serving in the Caribbean region.  In the 1970’s the Y’s Constitution was amended to give voting rights to members and to embrace a wider range of members. Female membership of the Y also became a reality during this time.

Over the years the local body has served Barbadian young men and the community as a whole in a wide variety of areas.  It has provided a place for the youth to develop their sporting skills; particularly in basketball, football, cricket, hockey table tennis among others.  Indeed the ‘Y’ has been the traditional home for basketball in Barbados.  (Left Basketball team 1940)

In addition the ‘Eye-on-the-Y’ courses have trained generations of Barbadians in a wide range of income-earning and self-help skills in areas attracting both male and female participants.
The ‘Y’ has also provided training in academic courses and the instilling of strong Christian values along with allowing for the interaction of youth with outstanding, positive role-models in the society, who were able to provide mentoring and guidance in life-skills.

The Association moved to its current location at Pinfold Street, Bridgetown in 1944.  (right)
The YMCA has also provided help to the disadvantaged in the society through the opening of its facilities to other groups, subsidising activities so they could participate.  The day care services are provided with subsidised rates for selected low income families.

In recent years the ‘Y” has added computer based training programmes including those to assist early childhood learning.


Mission Statement

The Barbados YMCA is dedicated to the development of the spiritual, social, physical and intellectual well-being of the youth of Barbados.

Main Programmes

Sports Programmes
•    Youth Basketball and YMCA Youth league
•    Youth Hockey development programme
•    Youth Cricket Development Programme
•    Table Tennis coaching programme

Early Childhood Learning Intervention Programmes (ECLIPS)
This programme’s target group is children ages six to ten primarily from low income groups with special attention to those with learning challenges.

Day Care

Eye-on-the-‘Y’ Vocational Training
•    Tiling
•    Plumbing
•    Electrical Installation
•    Nail Technology
•    Handicraft
•    Jewellery making
•    Flower Arranging
•    Upholstery and Drapery
•    AutoCAD
•    Technical Drawing

Barbados YMCA Sports Clubs
•    Field Hockey Club and
•    Cricket Club
•    Billiards Club

Ballroom Dancing Club
•    Ballroom dancing classes
•    Latin Dancing classes
•    Line dancing classes

Address - National Office

Pinfold Street
Bridgetown St Michael

No YMCA accomodation available in Barbados.

Interact with us Facebook Twitter Flickr Youtube RSS Feed

Get updated


YMCA Blogs The Blue Music Blog YMCA World Challenge Y-Action
18th World Council
Resource library
Find a hotel
Secretary General
News Archive