The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) was founded by Sir George Williams, who was born on a small farm in England in 1821 the youngest of eight children. He went to London 20 years later where he was appalled at working conditions and lives of many young men there. He became a devout Christian and founded the YMCA in 1844 to substitute Bible study and prayer for life on the streets and from where he grew the international organisation we know today.
We remember the YMCA in Stornoway flourishing on North Beach initially and then on Bayhead Embankment but a branch that existed before that was shown by Stornoway Directory of 1898 they met in the Free English Church Hall (Martin’s Memorial Church). The YMCA in Stornoway went through many changes over the next years – you can read more about the history of the YMCA in Stornoway here: YMCA Stornoway.