"I am disposed to support the YMCA as a youth and welfare organisation more than any other movement because after what I have seen in different parts of South Wales, I feel the Association gets more value for its money in premises and people and in getting the greatest possible work done with the least possible expense."
Circumstances favoured a forward movement. A proposal to establish a YMCA for boys at Bargoed had been discussed at meetings of the Welsh National Council. The Powell Duffryn Co., had several large collieries in the district but no welfare centre for boys work existed.
The National Secretary sought an interview with Mr. Hann. Mention was made of the urgent need of YMCA Boys' Work in Bargoed. A scheme for a permanent YMINCA building was outlined for which financial help from state funds could be secured and the Company was asked to support such a project.
Mr. Harm's reply was exciting: "Why Bargoed only?" He then indicated that he and other employers were also gravely concerned about the effect of continuing unemployment on young people.
Mr. Harm followed up the conversation by asking the National Secretary to make a survey of welfare work for boys in all areas in South Wales where the Powell Duffryn operated and to report back to him personally.
The YMCA survey was conducted by visitations of the Council Staff to the more important areas of Powell Duffryn Coal Mining operations. During the visits consultations took place with ministers of religion, school masters, industrial officials, trade union representatives, police officers and local councillors, together with others who had social and recreational
representative people consulted. On the whole it revealed the poverty of welfare service for industrial youth. The Aberaman YMCA was the only boys club which functioned in the districts where the Powell Duffryn Co., operated. In order to make a real impact on mining youth in these districts, it would be necessary to establish ten or twelve YMCA Boys Club Centres varying in type of buildings and programme activities.
After Mr. Harm had considered the report of the survey, the outcome was a request to the Welsh YMCA Council to submit a scheme to establish YMCAs for boys in important districts where the Powell Duffryn Co., operated together with an indication of the financial obligations of the Company in respect of capital expenditure and maintenance costs.
The proposed scheme was prepared and submitted to the Company. It embodied a plan of developments extending over a period of five to seven years, to erect or acquire suitable buildings to house YMCA activities for boys in the following districts:
Six buildings would be constructed in permanent materials suitable for a full size gymnasium hall, a buffet, a class room, crafts accommodation, a billiard room and other necessary accommodation, together with a small flat