YMCA in south west London has merged with its northern counterpart in west London, in a bid to become “bigger and stronger”, and to engage better.

The new organisation, YMCA St Paul’s Group, will work in the area from Slough, through north east Surrey and Kingston, across south London.

There are more than 500 people housed on a daily basis in that area, and there are plans to expand work under the new group.

Richard James, YMCA St Paul’s Group chief executive said: “The newly formed YMCA St Paul’s Group will be able to build on strong foundations and further diversify and expand its work in the future, so that local young people will thrive and the wider community flourish.

“We chose the name because St Paul is the patron Saint of London, St Paul’s Churchyard is where the YMCA was founded in 1855 and it was to St Paul’s we walked from East, West, South and South West London in June 2017 on Founder’s Day, as a sign of our commitment to each other and the work of YMCA.”

There will be a commissioning service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Tuesday, May 8, in the OBE Chapel.