Pontypridd YMCA is passionate about helping young people and the community to build a brighter future. Working with a variety of organisations they aim to ensure that a diverse range of sports, education, training and social support services are available at the YMCA for people of all ages to get the most out of life.

Pontypridd YMCA is passionate about helping young people and the community to build a brighter future. Working with a variety of organisations they aim to ensure that a diverse range of sports, education, training and social support services are available at the YMCA for people of all ages to get the most out of life.

With the current YMCA building being over a 100 years old it became a priority for the organisation to embark on a major redevelopment programme. Yet the project threw up a lot of questions for the Pontypridd team. What sort of services would they offer? Who should they aim to attract and how were they going to communicate new services to the local community? 

Manager, Hayley Fidler, says it became clear that they needed some help thinking through the future for the organisation and they decided to contact Pilotlight.

"The redevelopment project was exciting but we needed help to think about what we were going to use the new building for. We had lots of ideas but we were in danger of trying to do everything for everyone. Working with the Pilotlight team gave us some focus and a huge benefit was the different perspective and expertise they brought."

The Pilotlight team included business members from the finance, consulting and HR industries and they worked with Hayley and her chair of trustees on developing a new operating model. 

"At first, the meetings were a bit scary but the Pilotlight team were absolutely brilliant. They were very supportive and it was much more fun than I was expecting! We all got to know each other really well.”

Hayley also found that the year long project helped her connect with her trustee board and involve them in the planning for the new building.

“We wanted our board to be really engaged with the new vision for the YMCA building and what we could do with it. Going to Pilotlight meetings with our Chair really helped and we were then able to have lots of conversations with the board about what we wanted to achieve and get their input. A really big thing was putting the word 'aspiration' into our mission."

Pilotlight project manager, Robbie Cowbury says:

“The YMCA had been working so long on redeveloping the building that they needed a bit of external input to see the bigger picture again. The differing styles and expertise of the Pilotlight team blended expertly to help Hayley and her Chair of Trustees reconnect with their mission, coaching them through the same process with their Board. The knowledge and skills were all there, they just needed the encouragement and the space to apply them!”

Hayley says the new business plan will ensure that the new building will be fit for both their current and future needs. Yet, she feels the work with Pilotlight went beyond the initial scope of the project.

"Pilotlight enabled us to get a clear vision of ourselves as an organisation and what we wanted to do. On a personal level, the work with Pilotlight has really boosted my confidence. I often work on my own and it can be quite isolating. The Pilotlighters' support has really increased my confidence in my abilities and I feel I am a better manager now."

The charity has now raised over two-thirds of the funding they need and building work is due to start in March 2016.