Right Reverend Dr Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry
I’m delighted to be President of YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire for a host of reasons. Let me tell you about three of them.
First, it does what Jesus did – seeking out opportunities to transform people’s lives, welcoming everyone especially if they’ve been disadvantaged in any way, inspiring them to reach their full stature, speaking out for them and then serving them in practical, caring and imaginative ways.
Second, it’s part of a world-wide organisation that’s committed to transforming local communities and empowering our own young people. It sees the big picture of an interconnected global world, and yet focuses down on making a difference here in this place.
Third, YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire really does make a difference to the lives of young people in Coventry and Warwickshire. It has some well-run accommodation, brilliant projects and creative initiatives. But it’s the raising of young people to a greater confidence and fuller dignity that impresses me the most. That’s what it’s here for and that’s why I hope that if you happen to need the support of YMCA you will make use of it. It’s also why I hope that if you are in a position to support its work, you will do so.
David Kershaw CBE, JP, MA, Hon D Ed, FRSA
David has over fifty years’ experience working in education as a teacher, Headteacher, Executive Headteacher, Chair of Governors and Advisor for the DfE. He has undertaken a wide range of roles and tasks associated with the raising of educational standards of all students regardless of their circumstances and background. In the last ten years David has been involved as an Executive Principal in four schools assisting their move out of Special Measures, having successfully worked as a School Improvement Partner overseeing schools in Liverpool, Leicester and Sandwell. In 2017 he became Chief Executive of the Central Academies Trust, responsible for a school in Birmingham that was in Special Measures.
David and his wife have lived in Coventry for 45 years and are members of Earlsdon Methodist Church. They have three grown up children and seven grandchildren.
David worked for the YMCA as a student in Bradford and has been committed to its values and ethos ever since. He particularly respects its work in Coventry; supporting young people with a variety of needs.
Ken Holmes is Director of a successful Coventry-based architectural practice and has over forty years’ experience in the industry working on a variety of different projects, including English Heritage commissions.
Ken’s journey with YMCA began in 1991 when the then General Secretary asked for some pro bono advice. He soon found himself hooked on the YMCA’s work and was asked to join as a trustee and then as chair; a journey that lasted 18 years.
Ken has served YMCA in many roles; Chair of the Central Region, Chair of National Programmes / YMCA Training for 6 years, Trustee of Y Care International for 10 years and he was elected to be Chair of the National Council of YMCA’s for 2 years. In his time, as National Chair he represented YMCA at the World Alliance of YMCAs; showcasing the global youth movement across 120 countries and 5 continents.
In his own words, Ken says, “I have been privileged to have been able to share in the life of this amazing youth movement and I say big thank you to all who encouraged me to become involved. It has been such an enriching experience for me, that I pass on my story often, in the hope it may inspire others to link with YMCA too. To this day my mantra is, Do as much as you can. For as many as you can. For as long as you can and that seems to link so well with YMCAs work too.