Chair, Jeremy Oakley
The Black Country has been my home and provided me with a very full working life, half of which was in business and the other half as a vicar in the Church of England. I became a Christian in March 1984, and meeting Jesus certainly changed my life’s priorities.

There have been a number of occasions in my life when God has given me a second chance, often those chances have come through the kindness and generosity of other people. The privilege of serving YMCA Black Country is my opportunity to pay forward what God and others have done for me. I firmly believe that Jesus wants to be part our lives, and so it is my desire that his teaching will inform the vision and strategy of YMCA BC so that it remains a place of welcome to everyone.


Board Members

Seinde Balogun
Chair of Governance Development Committee and Chair of Health & Safety Committee

I am a Christian, married with three children. I am a Chartered Quantity Surveyor. I joined the YMCA BC because I wanted to help them in the good work that they do. I hope that I bring compassion, technical knowledge and corporate experience to YMCA BC

Grace England
A Senior Investment Manager at Resonance (social impact investment company, supporting social enterprises and charities to access the capital they need to grow, from investors that share their social mission). Managing West Midlands based social investment fund, which is working to tackle poverty and disadvantage across the region through making investment more accessible for local, impact-led organisations.

Mark Fussell
Chair of Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

I have been involved in the recruitment industry for most of my working life and re-joined the YMCA BC in 2021 as a Trustee & Board Member having previously served a nine year term between 2009 and 2018. I play an active role in my local church and feel privileged to be able to play a small part in the work of the YMCA in the Black Country.

Stephanie Patrick
I am the Chief Executive of WAY Widowed and Young which is a national bereavement charity for young widows. Before this, I spent 20 years working for a local YMCA as Deputy Chief Executive and then Acting Chief Executive Officer. I started my career as a professionally qualified youth worker and have nearly 30 years’ experience of working within the third sector.  I am deeply committed to the YMCA Movement and the Christian Ethos which underpins its mission to drive positive change for disadvantaged young people, children and their families.

Jon Rowe
At the age of 17 I became a Christian and my life was completely transformed by the love of Jesus. I have endeavoured to follow and serve him ever since. My initial involvement with the YMCA was through my business life when I was approached to provide insurance and pension solutions for them. I soon became enthralled with the diverse ways in which they serve and support the local community encouraging all people to Belong, Contribute and Thrive. I sold my businesses in 2015, and since then I have been involved in pioneering and pastoring a local free evangelical church. It is a privilege to serve on both the local board of Black Country YMCA and also the main board of the YMCA of England & Wales.

Jayne Sargeant
Jayne has been Chief Executive of Phase Trust for 20 years, growing the organisation from one that focused on grassroots delivery to an organisation with regional impact. Jayne is part of several key strategic forums and steering groups that work on the emotional health, exploitation and neglect agendas. She is also an accredited trainer, delivering training nationally on topics including exploitation and serious youth violence, adolescent neglect, exploitation and child sexual abuse.

Martin Shenton
I was born and bred in the Black Country and have been a Christian all my life and continue to grow in faith. As an accountant I worked most of my life in the Foundry Industry and latterly in Industrial Property management.  I want to give back to the community I grew up in.  I’m inspired by the work of the YMCA, and I’m particularly interested in the work of the YMCA in helping the homeless.

geoff stonyer YMCA Trustee

Geoff Stonyer
Having spent many years involved in Christian work with young people I am now starting my second term as a member of the board of trustees at the Y M CA BCG. Before joining the board I was actively involved with the First Base charity providing support and sheltered accommodation in Walsall.As a member of Walsall Community Church I also have the privilege of serving on the board of Walsall Street Teams which really does give me an even further insight into the problems young people face at this time.

Pauline Tomlinson
I have spent over 30 years working in diverse sectors including Local Authority, Education Establishments and the Corporate World with a drive to implement change for those whose voices we seldom here. I began working directly within the Charity Sector in 2009 and find the foundation of Christian principles an excellent way to align my personal Christian faith with impacting people’s lives for the better. It’s a privilege and honor to be part of YMCA BC!

Phil Walker
Chair of Capital Projects Committee

I have worked in the construction industry for 34 years, working as a client, consultant and contractor. In my local church I have taught Sunday School for 30 plus years and participated actively in the church’s operations. I joined the YMCA BC as I believe that applying appropriate construction principals to our multiple projects will provide the best accommodation and facilities for all of our clients.

Anna Walsh
Chair of HR & Ethos Committee and Chair of Chief Officer Remuneration & CEO Review Committee

I became CEO at CHADD, (a charitable housing association providing supported housing & community outreach for people in Dudley), in 2015. I have a 23-year career working in social action, housing, health and community services. I believe that Christian based social action has a unique & powerful offer to change people’s lives. Hence why I joined YMCA BC.

John Welsby
Chair of Safeguarding Committee

I worked as a social worker and then a senior local authority manager in children’s care services. I had gained a range of skills in management and leadership and looked for settings that would be new to me but where my skills could be transferable. I am also the Board’s Diversity Champion.