Skip to main content

YMCA Y’s Girls Mentoring Programme

The College supported YMCA England and Wales and YMCA Scotland to generate insight into the impact, sustainability and evaluation of mentoring through a focus on their Y’s Girls Mentoring Programme. The programme aimed to establish 250 mentoring relationships across 10 YMCAs across the UK from February 2021 until July 2022 to support young women in overcoming challenges in their lives to achieve their full potential.  

About Y's Girls

The Y’s Girls programme is an early mentoring initiative that matches trained volunteer mentors from a range of different backgrounds with female-identifying young people aged 9-14 years old to support them to overcome challenges and achieve their fullest potential in life. 

Mentoring takes place over 12 months and offers an informal environment where the girls can discuss anything that might be worrying them whilst trying out new activities alongside their mentor. 

The Y’s Girls programme and its evaluation have been made possible by generous funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) Tampon Tax Fund and the Garfield Weston Foundation. 

The Y’s Girls Evaluation and Sustainability Studies


The Y’s Girls Mentoring programme has been developed from the Plus One Mentoring Project designed and delivered by YMVCA Scotland for young people at risk of involvement in the criminal justice system. This learning from the Plus One Mentoring project informed the design of Y’s Girls mentoring programme for young women delivered from February 2021 to November 2022 in a partnership between YMCA England and Wales and YMCA Scotland. 

The evaluation and sustainability studies might be of interest to you if you’re interested in how to answer questions about to the processes and markers of quality that lead to positive outcomes in mentoring programmes for girls facing diverse risk factors. We explored this through the following questions:


How similar is Y’s Girls to the PlusOne mentoring programme?

What are the core and flexible components of Y’s Girls?

Is Y’s Girls delivered with fidelity to design across multiple sites?


What is the quality of practice delivered by Y’s Girls mentors?

What is the depth of young people’s engagement during mentoring sessions?


What are the baseline socio-emotional skill profiles of participating young people?

How do these socio-emotional skill profiles change over time?

How do these skill changes differ by condition?

Does Y’s Girls produce equity effects for participants who start with lower socio-emotional skills?



The College supported YMCA’s continued learning and development of mentoring programmes through the following activities:

  • Supporting programme coordinators to continually learn with the ‘Asking Good Questions’ framework
  • Development of a ‘Theory of Change’ to reflect the core and flexible aspects of the programme
  • Design of an evaluation plan and collation of qualitative data and data from our measures into an evaluation report
  • Exploration of the mentoring business model using the Social Business Model Canvas
  • Understanding of the internal sustainability of mentoring through use of the ‘Confidence Framework’
  • Understanding of the external sustainability of mentoring through stakeholder interviews and PESTLE analysis.

If you would like to know more about this project, please contact