Women's Archive of Wales/Archif Menywod Cymru: Swansea Young Women's Christian Association Records

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Annual reports; correspondence; financial papers; papers relating to property owned by the Swansea YWCA; papers relating to the activities of Swansea YWCA; photographs

Administrative / Biographical History

The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) was founded in 1855 by Miss Emma Robarts and The Hon Mrs Arthur Kinnaird. Miss Robarts organised groups for young women who were coming to London for the first time, and Mrs Kinnaird opened a hostel in Upper Charlotte Street, London for Florence Nightingale's nurses, en route to and from the Crimea. Today, the YWCA is the leading charity working with the most disadvantaged young women in England and Wales.

A branch of the YWCA was opened in Swansea in April 1879. Originally located at premises on Grove Place, it later moved to St. Helen's Road, where it ran the Mary Grenfell Memorial Home offering board and lodging to young women. The YWCA also ran a club which met once a week and was largely attended by shop workers and domestic servants.

After the Second World War, the YWCA lost their premises on St. Helen's Road. As a result of this, and a lack of trained staff, the club itself was forced to close, but the committee remained active. As the local education authority and churches began to take a greater role in youth work, the YWCA decided to change their focus. They purchased property, firstly Heathcliff House on Heathfield Road and later 66 Walter Road, and converted these into flatlets for young women between the ages of 23 and 45. They also opened a club room where meetings could once again be held.

Arrangement

By document type, in date order.

Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions

Other Finding Aids

A hard copy is available at the West Glamorgan Archive Service

Conditions Governing Use

Usual copyright regulations apply.

Appraisal Information

All records received by the West Glamorgan Archive Service have been retained

Accruals

Accruals are not expected.