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21 May 2024    |    General

YMCA Scotland Hosts YMCA Chief Executives Network North Queensferry

15-17 May 2024 


Last week, YMCA Scotland proudly hosted the YMCA Chief Executives & Strategic Leaders Network (CEN) conference, bringing together leaders from across the UK to collaborate, innovate, and share best practices. The three-day event, , was aimed at driving forward the YMCA’s mission of empowering young people and communities.


The conference kicked off with a warm welcome and opening reflection at the DoubleTree by Hilton in North Queensferry.  Kerry Reilly, Chief Executive of YMCA Scotland and Global, greeted attendees with an inspiring address, setting a positive and collaborative tone for the days ahead.


The first day featured a series of insightful sessions, starting with “Developing Innovative Practice,” where a number of local YMCAs in Scotland shared transferable learnings. A highlight of the afternoon was the “My Leadership Story” panel, where leaders shared personal journeys, offering inspiration and practical wisdom to their peers. The day concluded with a presentation on the new YMCA Induction course and Leadership & Management Development programme developed by YMCA George Williams College, followed by a general business session and an evening of networking over dinner.


Day two provided an immersive experience with exposure visits to local YMCAs.  At YMCA Tayside, attendees were welcomed with a tour of their newly refurbished building and a keynote speech by Jimmy Paul, CEO of Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit. His address emphasised the importance of innovative, evidence-based approaches to preventing violence, resonating deeply with the YMCA’s preventative and inclusive ethos. 


The afternoon included strategic business sessions focused on the development of the the Chief Executive’s and the Strategic Leaders Network..   The Chief Executive’s then paid a visit to the community garden at YMCA Glenrothes and the Senior Leaders visited the YMCA Kirkcaldy Gallatown Hub.  . 


The final day began with a reflective communion led by Andy Drake and Kerry Reilly, followed by a plenary and listening session where leaders consolidated their learnings and discussed future directions. Martin Hodgson and Jonica Walkinshaw provided a thoughtful close to the conference, expressing gratitude and encouraging continued collaboration among the YMCA leaders.


YMCA Scotland looks forward to seeing the positive ripple effects of this conference in the months and years to come.


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