The next decade



We operate at a fundamentally human level, helping people identify what they want to achieve, and then providing access to the means of achieving it. These principles will remain the fundamental platform of what we do in the coming decade, but we also recognise that this is a once-in-a-century opportunity to rethink our modes of operation and delivery.


It’s a hugely exciting moment, where we can continue our long tradition of not only doing things differently, but also doing them first.


Working within the areas of education, health and wellbeing, our mission is to “improve access to life-changing opportunities”. It’s a joyously open ambition, but in a situation where many things are possible and conceivable, the key to making good decisions will be exceptional governance. Our board will work generatively with our senior team to create a clear, practical strategic framework that allows us to set priorities, evaluate opportunities, invest for the long term, and build a culture that empowers our people to adapt and thrive in the new environment.


We’re already running with a rich variety of ideas on a pilot scale, and the effects of many have been astonishing. One of the most enjoyable questions of the next few years will be about scaling these projects up, and about building the partnerships, trading models or commissioning relationships which will make them feasible. In our view, much of what we do won’t be either wholly commercial, wholly contracted or wholly charitable; rather, there’s a socially enterprising continuum on which where anything is possible, and identifying where on that continuum an idea will flourish will be a crucial part of the coming challenge.


But 2020 wasn’t just a teachable moment in what’s valuable about social contact, whole-person wellbeing and the freedom to lead normal lives. George Floyd’s killing, and the subsequent momentum behind Black Lives Matter, demands a resolute and authentic response. Our shared values mean we work in a way which promotes Equity, and which is Brave; we Nurture, and we are Creative. Being true to these values will result in a culture and an organisation to be proud of, and we are uncompromisingly committed to embedding Equality, Diversity and Inclusion into everything we do.




Central YMCA is being supported in this process by Cadence Partners, who can be contacted for an informal discussion at any time.

Please contact Philip Nelson or Shani Newbold on +44 20 7947 4960 or email

Cadence Partners