Southend YMCA and the Arts 

A retrospective and a plan for the future

A pool of cultural experimentation for young people and developing artists. 

A spring-board from which cultural engagement can grow and deliver benefit to our community. 

A refreshing and renewed approach to arts in Southend with our artistic output finding new audiences. 

Cultural Spring

Southend YMCA's 'Cultural Spring' arts ethos is a youth-focused programme with the intent to determine and understand where the arts can help highlight, tackle and reduce crime, decrease social isolation and create a stronger community; whilst encouraging young people to explore diverse cultural arts for their own personal development. 



We believe that all young people should be able to access a wide range of arts and cultural opportunities within their local community. We encourage our participants to learn, experiment and express themselves within a creative and inclusive environment, gaining experience, confidence and new skills. 



Our young people engage with us through varied mediums of art, including music, drama and fine art, in combination with inspiring and thought-provoking appearances from guest practitioners and artists that are active within their industry. 

Disadvantaged and vulnerable young people are given the opportunity to be included and supported in a non-judgemental environment where they have access to quality arts-making expertise across a number of disciplines. 

All In Music

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Previous Projects

SYMCA is committed to offering young people the opportunities to engage in artistic and cultural development.


One of our previous projects was the ACT network (ACT – A Common Territory – Un territoire commun). 

From Somme to East Sussex, From Southend to Ille-et-Vilaine, the ACT network was initiated in 2011 by Orchestre de Picardie. This cross-Channel network gathered 13 partners: 5 French and 8 English organisations including Southend YMCA whose common goal was to tighten the bonds between neighbours on both sides of the Channel by offering original, transverse cultural activities with a European span. These activities were accessible to all inhabitants on each side of the Channel.

Southend YMCA was proud to belong to this network which supported the arts by stimulating creativity. ACT committed to local change by making access to culture possible for all. This network also fostered innovative exchanges and multidisciplinary events.



Donkey skin


Southend YMCA delivered a body of work based around the Charles Perrault fairy tale 'Peau D Ane' / 'Donkey Skin.' The ACT partnership enabled us to deliver a wide variety of 10 week arts based projects which had been inspired by the original text by Charles Perrault, the Jacque Demy 1970's film, the music composed by Orchestra de Picardie & the Donkey Skin ballet choreography by ECO Emilio Compagnie.

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Visit Us:

 (Head Office) Southend YMCA,


85 Ambleside Drive,

Southend On Sea, SS1 2FY

Visit Us:

Southend YMCA

Business Eco-Hub

2a St John's Road,

Westcliff On Sea, SS0 7JZ

Contact Us:

01702 301 301

Together, we can end youth homelessness in Southend.

Southend's Leading Children's Charity - Southend-on-Sea Young Men’s Christian Association (Southend YMCA) Registered Charity Number: 1102837 (registered in England); Limited Liability Company number 5051166;  Non-profit, private registered provider of social housing: Number 4853