Keep up the pressure on YMCA!

Boycott Workfare inside YMCA HQ

Boycott Workfare inside YMCA HQ

Today boycott workfare paid a visit to the London headquarters of workfare exploiter YMCA. They’ve defended their use of unpaid, forced work in previous statements and we’ve called them out on it. Mandatory Work Activity forces people to work without wages under threat of sanction, and doesn’t help them find a job anyway. Whereas the Salvation Army have stated they will not get involved in the new 6 month long Community Work Placements starting later this month, the YMCA have yet to make a public statement on the issue.

The YMCA wants to have its cake and eat it. Their president, Bishop John Sentamu, has spoken against workfare. Yet, the organisation still takes part in some of the harshest schemes.  They’re also involved in delivering traineeships – workfare by another name.

We say volunteering should remain just that, and that people shouldn’t be “made to volunteer” under threat of sanction.

The fight against workfare is more important than ever, with 74,000 people being sanctioned every month. Sanctions are one of the main reasons people are turning to food banks to feed themselves, and you can now be sanctioned for up to three years. This is forcing people to make the choice between heating their homes or eating.

Join us in a day of action against the YMCA’s use of workfare. Tell them what you think about them using forced unpaid work in their charity shops. Don’t let them ignore the devastating effect that sanctions are having on people up and down the country.

Facebook: YMCA England


Phone them on 020 7186 9500 or their shops hotline on 0845 601 0728.

Find contact details of your nearest YMCA shop here

But please note: Whilst it’s well worth trying to speak to a manager or senior individual if possible please bear in mind most people taking calls/emails will be low paid retail/admin staff and could even be on workfare themselves. Be aware that is an offence to make telephone calls or send communications which are threatening, indecent or offensive.


Comments (9)

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Well done to all concerned!

This must be one of the most hypocritical organisations in the country. From 2012:

"We believe that the minimum wage for apprentices is too low. Whilst we understand that in the current economic climate there needs to be a balance with the need to create new jobs, we are of the view that the rate could be increased slightly."

Does anyone know how much the Chief Executive makes for running a forced labour programme?

jj joop

Sock it to them!

jj joop

According to a report in today’s Daily Heil, Osborne is saying the Tories will be the party of job creation. He also added that Help to Work will force long-term unemployed people to do tasks to claim their dole from next month.

We shall see.


Just called and spoke to somebody in the communications team: was told CWP placements weren't going to be accepted (and statement on Facebook); MWA matter for individual charity shops (that hoary old chestnut!)

Douglas 더글라스 Park 파크,

visions flash up and self-enact of parodies of a certain village people's hit (NOT in the navy!) and also the lating greating peter "sleazy" christopherson's punk era photos of the sex pistols (and maybe others?) in and around the centrepoint london ymca, as well as something about the bowery "bunker" where william s. buroughs, john giorno, linda benglis etc lived and worked....

Kay Mawson

YMCA, please stop exploiting vunerable people under Workfare (another name for slavery).


YMCA England has 4 employees who earn £60,001 -£70,000 and 1 employee who earns £80,001-£90,000.

There are quite a few workfare charity exploiters on the list.

Dazzling Darryl

CW is not happening guys! We have won a victory for common sense, lets all meet at the pub for a drink to celebrate all your hard work. Maybe we should be in government


stop employing people for zero wages
you bring shame on your name..