YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island
Our Impact Why We Exist
The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island has a rich 140-year history in Greater Victoria. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of children and teens, improves the community's health and well-being, and provides opportunities to give back and help. The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island continues to grow and expand its focus on improving the health of our communities with the opening of two new branches - the Eagle Creek Y in View Royal and the Westhills Y in Langford.
Our Story What We Do
We believe that healthy people make strong communities. The YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island is committed to the following principles:
- We are an ethical, charitable, independent organization that is financially responsible.
- We have a commitment to quality leadership provided by volunteers and staff.
- We are a responsible member of the global YMCA and YWCA families.
- We provide equal access and participation for all persons.
- We support the growth and development of programs and services that contribute significantly to building healthy communities.
- We promote fellowship, community responsibility and service.
Our Programs How We Do It
Recognizing that health has many determinants, the YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island strives to create programs, opportunities and experiences that enhance community wellness. Health encompasses more than just physical activity. In its broadest terms, Community Health Programs offer inclusion, safety, respect, care, laughter and learning with a stable and supportive social network.
- Y Health & Fitness Programs include aquatics, fitness, strength training, rec sports, dance, racquetball and squash. Childminding is available and most scheduled programs are all included in your membership. Our facility and all programs are designed to help every individual meet their fitness, health and lifestyle needs.
- Y Licensed Child Care follows the YMCA Canada "Playing to Learn" curriculum which is based on the understanding that children's play is the basis for healthy child development and future school success. The Y offers quality child care options at each of the three branches - Downtown, View Royal, and Langford.
- Y Camping & Outdoor Education at Camp Thunderbird, located in Sooke and Metchosin, offers summer camp programs for children and youth who enjoy experiencing outdoor and nature activities. We believe that high quality mentorship, small group experiences, time spent being physically active in natural spaces, democratic group living and community service are key elements in the healthy growth and development of young people
- Pandora Youth Apartments is a safe and affordable transitional life skills and housing program for at-risk youth while they attain their goals of education, employment and wellness.
- Young Moms Program at Kiwanis Family Centre is a supportive, transitional housing program for young single mothers and their babies.
- YWCA Encore is a free exercise and support program for women who have experienced breast cancer at any time during their lives.
- The Power of Being a Girl is a violence prevention conference for girls aged 12-14 years during the YWCA's Week Without Violence.
- Westshore Teaching Garden is a partnership with School District 62 featuring fruit trees, garden and herb beds, and berry patches.
What You Can Do
The Y's annual support campaign is the Strong Kids Campaign, which ensures all young people and their families are able to participate in Y programs and services regardless of their ability to pay.
Your donation to the Strong Kids Campaign will:
- Help a family or young adult stay active with a Y membership
- Give youth a chance to build leadership skills and confidence through experiences at the Y's Camp Thunderbird
- Support at-risk youth who are engaged in the Y's Community Health Programs
- Connect families to safe high quality Child Care
- Provide support, counselling and transitional housing to young moms and their babies
- Support programs for women and young girls to empower them and provide tools to help them prevent violence in their lives — YWCA Week Without Violence and The Power of Being a Girl
- Provide support to breast cancer survivors through YWCA Encore