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
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 the YMCA BC.

Geoff Stonyer
After working in the engineering sector I retired ten years ago. During this time I was involved in young people and youth work both locally and nationally. I became actively involved with First Base Walsall and was instrumental in the transfer of the charity to the YMCA BCG and subsequently joined the board of trustees.

Anna Walsh
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
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.

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.

Rob Hill
I retired in 2007 having spent 44 years in the accountancy profession. At my local church I was a youth leader for 8 years where I also managed youth and adult football teams which played in the West Midlands Christian League.  I hoped that my experience in commerce and youth work might be of benefit to YMCA.

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
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.

Mark Fussell
I have been involved in the recruitment industry for most of my working life and joined the YMCA BC as a Trustee & Board Member in 2009. 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.

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.

Jon Rowe
At the age of 17 I became a Christian and my life was completely transformed by the love of Jesus. I have endeavored 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.