Who are we looking for?



Who are we looking for?


The first thing to say is that we’re sincere about wanting to do this differently. We want to meet some disruptive thinkers, who can bring new perspectives, communicate new insights and build an authentically diverse board.


It’s a deeply rewarding environment of high trust and high experiment, where the exploration of ideas can be rigorous but always appreciative, and where every board member feels secure in being part of open and complex conversations. We are a flexible, adaptable organisation, and our DNA incorporates elements of charity, education, community action, and social enterprise. The golden thread that runs through everything we do is the question: “Is this improving access to life-changing opportunities?” The people we’re seeking to appoint will both help us answer, and extend, this question.


We were delighted to welcome Arvinda Gohil to the Chief Executive role 18 months ago, and she has brought huge capacity to the organisation. It’s fair to say that her first year in post was a little different to what any of us expected! However, her clear vision and experienced analysis of our strategic options means that that we’re in a very exciting phase now, and we expect the pace of change and innovation to pick up significantly as 2021 continues.


Candidates will be proud of what they’ve achieved in their working and personal lives, but we’re not necessarily expecting that your background will be professionally predictable. As a truly England-wide organisation, our ambition is to broaden provision across the whole of the country, so we can deliver all of our service ‘pillars’ from all of our 12 nationwide locations. This means that we would warmly welcome interest from candidates based outside the South East.


We also want to see clear evidence that your passion for collaboration matches ours. A key element of our future achievement is going to be determined by our success in forging new partnerships and working with other organisations, so it should be second nature for you to bring interesting people together.




Specific focus areas

  • Further and continuing education: Our current operating model is comparable to a typical FE college, albeit without a central campus – we recruit learners, draw funding from ESFA, and deliver the curriculum. This works, and it’s a high-quality offer; but we want to extend our reach and impact, and that’s likely to involve thinking about new models and structures for delivering education and training. We need to become more familiar with the areas we could move into, and understand better how we can fund it. Partnering, hybridisation, and income diversification will all be part of the answer, but we need a trustee who knows their way around the national post-16 system to help us develop a coherent picture of the options, and a plan to maximise our potential. Download JD and PS here
  • Chair of Risk and Audit Committee: Risk is an area where we believe there is significant room for capacity building; we want to develop a far more nuanced and context-specific theory of risk, which will enable us to accurately calibrate innovations or programmes against our long-term objectives. We need to take an increasingly systemic view of aggregate risk and the major environmental shifts that could affect us, and we need someone who can coach the whole board in raising our level of understanding of this key issue. Download JD and PS here
  • Chair of Health & Wellbeing Committee: A bit like education (see above), we’re already really good at this in lots of ways, but we are determined to position ourselves as sector-shapers and first-movers. The principles of social enterprise are absolutely at the heart of this strand – because the services we trade and provide make such a difference to people’s lives, it’s the area of our work where a distinction between social good and commercial success is least relevant. We want to be an increasingly important partner with health services; we want to be great at rolling out social prescription models; we want to be pioneering in digital or remote delivery; and we want more and more people to be able to see themselves taking advantage of our provision.
    Download JD and PS here


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 ymca@cadencepartners.co.uk

Cadence Partners