House iconPreviously known as the Dulverton Residential Centre

The Dulverton Hostel has been a key member of the Dulverton community for a number of years. The hostel has welcomed a number of groups including esteemed university sports clubs and training olympians.   

The Dulverton Hostel is the latest addition to YMCA Dulverton Group’s social enterprise initiative. YMCA Dulverton Group is a local community charity, committed to be a leader in transforming communities so that all young children, young people and families can truly belong, contribute and thrive. 

Running as a not-for-profit, all revenue generated by the venue is reinvested into funding local community and initiatives. 

The hostel joins a unique portfolio of YMCA social enterprise projects including The Beach Hotel, in Minehead, The Great Western Hotel, in Taunton and Wedding and Events venue, Barley Wood, based in Wrington.

History of Dulverton and the YMCA 

YMCA Dulverton Group holds a long heritage with Dulverton. Dulverton is such an important and historical place to the YMCA that we (YMCA Dulverton Group previously Somerset Coat) renamed the charity in 2018 to reflect the relationship and heritage. 

Our founder of the YMCA, Sir George Williams, was born at Ashway Farm not far from Tarr Steps, in Dulverton. Sir George dedicated his life to the YMCA, in order to support and improve the lives of young people, which we continue to do now as the largest youth charity in the world. 

We were approached by the Clifton Diocese in 2019 with the opportunity to develop and reopen the residential centre and restore it to the heart of the community. We took this opportunity by the horns, and can’t wait to be part of this incredible journey. 

About Sir George Williams

YMCA founder, Sir George Williams, was born on 11th october 1821 in Ashway Farm Dulverton, Somerset. 

He was one of seven sons of Amos, a local farmer, and his wife Elizabeth. 

As a young man, George described himself as a “careless, thoughtless, godless, swearing young fellow”. 

George was educated locally and worked on the family farm. After an accident, his family sent him to Bridgwater to be an apprentice at Henry Williams Holmes’ drapers shop. 

In 1842, George moved to London to pursue a career in drapery. He found work making gentlemens clothes in St Pauls Yard, by St pauls Cathedral, in the city of London. As a man of faith, he also regularly attended a chapel near his workplace. 

In 1844, appalled by the terrible conditions in London for young working men, particularly for the innocent and untutored young boys who had left their home often in the remote countryside to work in the metropolis. George then gathered a group of his fellow drapers together to create a place that would not tempt young men to sin. 

That place was the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). 

He began to put together a number of activities, which enabled the young people in his area to begin to address their own needs and to build better lives for themselves. The first meeting of this group took place in the shop in which he worked and there is a plaque commemorating this spot in London today. 

Soon, YMCA spread across London and quickly became an international movement reaching the USA and Canada in 1851. 

In 1894, George became Sir George on the 50th anniversary of the founding of YMCA when he was knighted by Queen Victoria. By the time he died in 1905, there were 45 YMCA’s running all over the world, with an incredible membership of more than 700,000 people. MAY 22ND 

His funeral was at St Paul’s Cathedral and you can visit the tomb of Sir George there today. 

YMCA’s across the globe celebrate our founders day on 6th June every year, as we remember the man who, at the tender ages of just 22, created the largest youth charity in the world.

Visit YMCA Dulverton Group

We are a local community charity. We deliver life changing services to over 10,000 children, young people and families across Somerset and Devon every year.

Visit YMCA Dulverton Group