Our Senior Leadership Team

Tom Cavalot (Head of Airplay)

What is your background?

I joined One YMCA in 2022 having spent 11 years as part of the Airplay project as youth worker, regional manager and in my current role. My previous experience is in youth work, fostering, project management and digital media.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Leading a small, passionate central team to ensure the successful delivery of the RAF Benevolent Fund’s flagship Airplay youth support programme at RAF Stations through a partnership of YMCAs.

What is your ambition?

To develop a high quality service that best supports the communities it serves and empowers young people to belong, contribute and thrive. I also still harbour ambitions to one day be bitten by a radioactive spider.

What are your personal interests?

Spending time with family and friends. Being a bang average sportsman across a range of disciplines. Playing video games, watching movies, reading and relaxing.

Elizabeth Cockburn (Head of Finance)

What is your background?

I’ve worked at One YMCA for 5 years and previously I spent the first 12 years of my career working within the IT sector (Fujitsu) and subsequently moved to the charity sector. I have worked for a research institute and awarding body prior to One YMCA.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

To provide a comprehensive finance service across the organisation that supports it in meeting strategic objectives and business plans.

What are your personal interests?

Hill walking, skiing, keeping fit and cooking.

Simon Foden (Head of Enterprise)

What is your background?

I’ve worked in One YMCA for 1.5 years. Before then I ran Health Clubs in Central London.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Listening to each member of the team and develop my understanding of their challenges to allow us to work together and overcome them and ultimately succeed.

What is your ambition?

Premiership Footballer….if not that…create a fun, inclusive working environment that allows every member of the team to give their very best and become sector innovators and leaders.

What are your personal interests?

Film

John Graham (Head of Construction Projects)

What is your background?

I have just started with One YMCA from working part-time as a Consultant Construction Project Manager developing new care homes. I have many years of experience in construction, design and project management, developing commercial banks, restaurants, hotels and gyms.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

All aspects of project planning, build, handover, occupation, etc. working closely with and coordinating the work of all the key players including architects, builders, contractors, and internal customers etc. to ensure that all project objectives are met. This will include tactical, administrative and on-site working to coordinate various aspects of building-related projects.

What is your ambition?

Contribute to and develop the vision, direction and operational management of the charity as a whole and effectively represent the charity externally at all levels with external contractors, consultants and suppliers.

What are your personal interests?

Staying fit and healthy by running, cycling and walking. Tending to the garden and seeing what vegetables I can, and cannot grow, I have already admitted that carrots and parsnips don’t work for me, but potatoes, leeks, onions and courgettes are winners! I enjoy cooking and dining, especially with a nice bottle of red wine!

Catherine Hook (Head of Housing)

What is your background?

I have been a housing professional for over 30 years in the sector and have worked with One YMCA since 2013

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Overseeing the operations of the Housing Service

Joe Kennedy (Head of HR)

What is your background?

I joined One YMCA in July 2014 and before that worked for a medium-sized, national charity.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

No two days are the same! One of the most important things I do is to be responsible for maintaining an effective HR Team which supports colleagues to be at the top of their game.

What is your ambition?

To be faithful to our mission through enabling more people to belong, contribute and thrive.

What are your personal interests?

Father of two. Lover of the music of Fleetwood Mac. Occasional guitar player. Bit of a photographer. Armchair politician. Sometimes to be seen running (ok, shuffling) round local area in an attempt to stay healthy!

Donna Lawrie (Head of Marketing, Comms and Insight)

What is your background?

I’ve worked for One YMCA since April 2015 and in this role since April 2020. Before this role I worked for One YMCA as Executive Assistant and Marketing Coordinator. Previous experience was within the hotel industry at IHG and Hilton Hotels.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Leading a small, energetic and passionate marketing, comms and insight team. We work with all teams across One YMCA with an aim to raise the awareness of how our services can help even more people belong, contribute and thrive in our local communities

What is your ambition?

My ambition is that more people recognise the great work of One YMCA so even more people can benefit from the support that is available to them and they can reach their full potential

What are your personal interests?

Spending time with my husband and two children, catching up with friends and family, yoga and eating out !!

Nicola Lee (Head of Therapeutic and Specialist Services – YMCA & ECP)

What is your background?

I joined ECP and YMCA in April 2020. Previous to this I worked at Families First Bedfordshire and at Bedford Borough Council for 11 years.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Working with a highly motivated and passionate teams to deliver accessible therapeutic and specialist support services in the community to children, young people and adults. Developing new and existing professional relationships to strengthen and expand our offer of support, writing contract/funding reports to evidence impact and secure further funding, promoting our amazing services!

What is your ambition?

Enable more children, young people and adults to access quality support through the creation of a facilitators training platform, to share our learning in our many areas of expertise.

What are your personal interests?

I love a good family walk with our cute dog, I love my morning workouts at the gym before my little ones wake up, and will settle down most nights with a Netflix series!

Michael Lyne (Head of ICT & Digital)

What is your background?

I’ve worked for One YMCA for 5 months and previously worked as Head of Technology and Facilities at Asthma UK (merged with the British Lung Foundation in December 2019 to form the Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership); previously worked for The Stroke Association and a software supplier to the charity market.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Developing the ICT strategy to support Mission 25.

Managing outsourced ICT support companies to ensure they deliver the best service possible to our staff.

Preparing tenders and proposals to improve ICT provision.

Giving guidance and advice to colleagues on best practices around use of technology.

Work with colleagues on project groups to deliver technology-relate improvements to our systems.

What is your ambition?

To provide the best possible infrastructure and digital tools for our staff, so that they are able to deliver the best possible service to the people they support.

What are your personal interests?

Outside of work: reading (anything, especially literature), football (Chelsea F.C. and the Republic of Ireland), travel.

Tim Roberts (Head of Christian Mission)

What is your background?

I joined One YMCA in April 2021 as the new Head of Christian Mission. I have been serving as Senior Minister of Wellspring Church for over 22 years, a role I continue part-time alongside my work here.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

Working with leaders and staff across the charity to build on our strong Christian foundations and, as part of this, supporting and overseeing the brilliant Chaplaincy and Connect teams.

What is your ambition?

To see the Mission25 vision become an experienced reality. To see every staff member, service user and partner organisation freshly and authentically inspired by the life, example and teaching of Christ.

What are your personal interests?

I’m a passionate Watford fan and I love family barbecues, early mornings, muddy walks, long cycle rides, daily gym visits, design, photography, good movies, inspiring books and long evenings with good friends.

Linzi Schier (Head of Family Support – FCS)

What is your background?

I’ve worked for One YMCA since 2018 and have 30 years’ experience of working within an early years or family services role.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

I lead the family support and children’s centre services to provide high quality support, information, advice and guidance to respond to the needs of families across the communities in which we serve. This often involves working with a wide range of Partners, and together we develop new ideas, programmes and services.
I also have the privilege of working with an amazing team of almost 130 colleagues who are some of the most enthusiastic and dedicated people I know!

What is your ambition?

My ambition is for every parent, child, young person and member of the team to reach and fulfil their ambitions, reaching their full potential.

What are your personal interests?

I like nothing more than spending time pottering in my garden. When I’m feeling slightly more energetic, then my other love is walking; although I often find myself wishing I had paid more attention to learning to read a map.

Kirsty Stuart (Head of Children’s Activities Programme)

What is your background?

I started with One YMCA in September 2015 as an Outreach Worker for the Children’s Centre Group. More recently I have been managing a team within the Family Support Service before moving into the role of Head of Children’s Activities Programme in May 2021. Before starting with One YMCA, I worked in Early Years Settings and have a passion for enabling children and families to achieve the best start in life.

What are your main day to day responsibilities?

The primary focus of the my role is to lead and co-ordinate on the delivery of a range of activities for children during school holidays and also term time activities for under 5s and their families.  I also spend a lot of time with my team to develop their skills and ambitions so that together, we can create a success culture which enables us to impact on more families.

What is your ambition?

To double the impact of the work that we do with children from 0-18 years and their families through high quality and enriching sessions which enable them to reach their full potential, as well as to further raise awareness of our wonderful organisation and show people what we can do!

What are your personal interests?

Spending time with my 2 year old son, watching him grow and develop each day. I also have a keen interest in travelling and enjoy the sights and cultures of many countries, with Spain being one of my favourites. I am also a Football and Motor sport enthusiast!

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