New name for the Y reflects growth

The Y South & Mid Canterbury is now The Y Central South Island.

The name change was approved at the not-for-profit organisation’s recent annual meeting, and was prompted by expanding operations in Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru and Oamaru.

Y Central South Island chief executive Keith Shaw said the change acknowledged the previous name no longer accurately described the Y’s geographic area of service delivery and so was no longer "fit for purpose".

"Over the last several years our Y has expanded its education programme delivery into both Christchurch and Oamaru, and also our Y•Drive Driving School operations into Ashburton and Oamaru.

"We’re also increasing our youth development and whānau support programme delivery across the motu to towns like Methven, Mayfield, Hinds, Twizel, Temuka, Waimate and Oamaru, so our new name is much more descriptive of where our mahi [work] takes place."

The Y was established in Timaru in 1917, then Ashburton in 1993. It took over Youth Guarantee education programme delivery in 2017 from the former YMCA Christchurch, and started education delivery in Oamaru in 2022.

The Y also rebranded from the well-known "YMCA" several years ago to better reflect that its programmes and services are open to all, regardless of ability, age, culture, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation and socio-economic background.

The organisation employs 42 staff and had an income of $3.7 million for the 2023-24 financial year.