Still no pay at the YMCA

YMCA: still backing workfare despite all the evidence (Photo: Joelsp/Flickr)

YMCA: still backing workfare despite all the evidence (Photo: Joelsp/Flickr)

Everyone already knew it, but now Work Programme providers have themselves admitted that they’re failing (though of course to them this means they should be paid more for doing less). Online pressure and protests pushed Homebase to make another statement on its use of workfare but “no further commitment” to workfare still leaves paid hours devastated in at least one store, and tens of people working without pay. Lord Freud, architect of welfare reforms, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have all been served ‘eviction notices’ by UK Uncut. Liverpool have also kicked off a week of action. Workfare and other welfare reforms are under pressure, as ministers consistently lie to justify them.

In the second of our ‘Workfare Wednesday’ callouts, help keep up the pressure on another workfare exploiter: YMCA. In recent weeks, Christian charities using workfare have come under fire for failing to note that “The Labourer is worthy of his hire” (Luke 10:7).

YMCA’s latest statement on workfare defends their use of forced unpaid workers, and ignores the fact they are responsible for pushing people into destitution and possible homelessness through sanctions which can last up to three years. Help persuade them to join the list of charities who will no longer have anything to do with workfare. Help keep up the pressure today!

YMCA England are on facebook at:

Their President, Bishop John Sentamu, has spoken out against workfare in the past. Contact him on twitter
or the charity direct

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

Email: or

They have a youtube channel at:

To find contact details of your nearest YMCA shop visit:

Contact YMCA International to tell the world what this organisation is doing in their name to the poorest and already destitute in the UK @ymcaint or on facebook:

YMCA have a range of fundraising arms including a Fitness Training company on twitter @ymcafit and facebook:

They also run a corporate conference centre called Dunford House 01730 812381

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.

While you’re at it, you may also like to contact another Christian charity and major workfare exploiter, Salvation Army too.


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“Similarly, Dr Sharon Bennett lists herself in the register as a shareholder in the private company DictateIT, which types up dictated notes.
However, according to information on the company website Duedil, which searches information at Companies House, it is her husband, the Conservative MP and former Cabinet Minster Andrew Mitchell who owns the shares.”

“New GP commissioning group board member who is married to Tory in ‘Plebgate’ affair”


“Andrew Mitchell”

“The Register of Members’ Financial Interests: Part 1
As at 8th April 2013″

“An investigation by the Camden New Journal has also revealed that doctors on the group have links to more than 30 private providers. Seven of them (diagram) have links to a private company, South Islington GP Alliance (Sigpal), which was bootstrapped with no less than £40,000 of private money.”

Rich N Famous

a different version of an old song:

Young folks, when you're stuck in a hole
I said, young folks, you can find a new role
I said, young folks, when you're broke on the dole
There's no need to be unhappy.

Young folks, there's a place you can go.
I said, young folks, you won't get any dough
You'll be sanctioned, if you choose to decline
To get nothing for your own time

You'll get no pay at the YMCA
You'll get no pay at the YMCA

You'll be forced to do work, and you'll have to behave
You'll be happy there as our slave

You'll get no pay at the YMCA
You'll get no pay at the YMCA

You'll be royally screwed, cause you cannot refuse
You'll be singing the Workfare Blues

Young folks, are you listening to me?
I said, young folks, what do you want to be?
I said, young folks, you can't follow your dreams.
But you got to know this one thing!

No one does it all by himself.
I said, young folks, put your pride on the shelf,
We'll exploit you, and you won't get a job
Now get working and shut your gob!

You'll get no pay at the YMCA
You'll get no pay at the YMCA

You'll do menial tasks for Duncan Smith to enjoy,
They'll take men and treat them as boys

You'll get no pay at the YMCA
You'll get no pay at the YMCA


Still no pay for the YMCA workfare victims, but things are floating along nicely for those at the very top. This vice president of the YMCA will shortly be cruising on the Rhone. Only £1,700 if you would like to join him!