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YMCA Norfolk names John Lee as its new CEO 

YMCA Norfolk has named its new CEO as John Lee, who has worked with the Matthew Project and Spurgeons Norwich Connect and is a senior leader with Proclaimers church in Norwich. Keith Morris reports.

John, who is based in Norfolk, currently works with Spurgeons Norwich Connect where he set up, led and tested the pioneering “Whole Picture, Whole Family” approach to domestic abuse – a national pilot facilitating direct responses to the voice of victims.


He joins YMCA Norfolk with a wealth of experience within Norfolk’s third sector – having previously worked as the Head of Services and Quality at the Matthew Project, leading their work with young people and veterans affected by substance misuse. At the Matthew Project his role included governance, risk management and safeguarding.

While at Norfolk Family Carers, John set up Norfolk’s first Young Adult Carers service supporting young people to achieve their goals while providing unpaid care for a family member.


John said: “At a time when the challenges young people and their families face are increasing, the mission of YMCA Norfolk to enable the transformation of young people is absolutely vital. The barriers to young people and families accessing housing, education and employment support have increased due to Covid-19. 


“I am honoured to lead YMCA Norfolk’s response to breaking down the barriers which hinder young people from reaching their full potential. YMCA Norfolk has an incredible legacy over the last 175 years and most recently under the leadership of Tim Sweeting. I look forward to working with the team and building on this legacy to ensure that young people have a hope filled future.”


John says he is passionate about breaking down the barriers for young people and families accessing support and enabling them to reach their full potential.  He has previously served as a trustee for YMCA Norfolk between 2015 – 2018, where he took on the role of governance lead for safeguarding. He is on the senior leadership team at Proclaimers church in Norwich.


Philip Macdonald, who led the recruitment process on behalf of the board of trustees, said: “As a Board of Trustees, we are very excited to have appointed John Lee to lead the YMCA forward in this next season. His broad range of skills and passion to make a difference to the lives of young people shone through in an intensive selection process involving a national field of candidates.


“There are huge pressures on Norfolk’s young people and families, and the YMCA is needed more than ever to support their wellbeing as we emerge from lockdown. With this key appointment, we are confident that we will be in a great position to make a difference at this critical time.”


John will work alongside YMCA Norfolk’s board of trustees and directors, as well as over 100 staff members, to lead and develop the charity which has experienced a period of exciting growth in recent years – allowing them to expand their services and increase the impact of operations.


Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, YMCA Norfolk says it has demonstrated a year of unprecedented progress through the opening of its brand-new community hub on Aylsham Road, Norwich. The multi-service facility has already proven to be a huge success with the local community, offering a 90-place Ofsted registered nursery alongside Explorers Soft Play and Williams’ Kitchen – praised as a much-needed asset to the local area.


Tim Sweeting, current CEO of YMCA Norfolk, will be taking up the position of Diocesan Secretary with the Norwich Diocesan Board of Finance (NDBF) in September this year.


Pictured above is John Lee.


Read the full article here

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