richard james 300x300 - Our Executive Team

Richard James
BEng Hons, MA, FRSA
Chief Executive Officer

After graduating as a Structural Engineer Richard worked in the commercial sector for an international ship supply company. After this, he left to set up a number of youth-focused charities in South Wales before moving to South West London. He was drawn to the YMCA as it brought together the cause driven charitable focus with the need to be commercially astute: “I love the diversity of work, the focus on young people and community as well as the opportunity to build on the story of many great people who have gone before me, helping building an even stronger YMCA for the future.”

Since joining the YMCA over ten years ago, Richard has helped drive the merger work between YMCA East London, YMCA West London, YMCA Slough and YMCA London South West which ended up in the creation of YMCA St Paul’s Group.

“I love the fact we are part of a national and international family that spreads to over 100 people and that all over the world people are committed to make a difference in the community they work in. I would love us to be known to be a bold, pioneering organisation that is delivering work in new and exciting ways and to new young people and communities.”

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Fred Angole
MSc, BA, FCCA
Group Finance Director & Deputy Chief Executive

Fred is a qualified accountant with many years’ experience in retail, the civil service and has been a Finance Director of a number of housing associations. Throughout his career, he has had responsibility for finance, IT, business improvement and risk management. In addition to his role at the YMCA, he is also currently a board member for two housing associations.

Fred joined the YMCA as he was inspired by the work the Charity does in transforming young lives and the commitment of staff; especially as he was previously unaware of the mind, body and spirit dimension of YMCA’s work.  He is also inspired by the work of the international YMCA family and the variety of ways in which needy communities are supported.

Looking forward, Fred is driven to implement our Strategic Plan and looks forward to being loving, hopeful, community-focused, people-centric and holistic in delivering the plan.

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Marjorie James
FCIPD, MA
Director of People & Services

Marjorie has worked in HR for around 30 years and during this time has worked across all areas of HR, and also has been Chair of the Trustees for an International Safeguarding Agency  which helped to improve safeguarding standards in third sector countries where little or no national safeguards were in place.

Since joining the YMCA, Marjorie has helped delivered three mergers which has improved culture and staff engagement across all parts of the Charity. She also has implemented a   vast range of programmes to support staff development and more recently introducing a range of initiatives to reward staff for their contribution and recognise their achievements.

Looking forward Marjorie is keen to see the Charity be awarded the ‘Great Place to Work’ accreditation and be regarded as a hub within the community where people come for support, for health & wellbeing and where they feel loved.

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Mark Agnew
BSc, MSc
Director of Property & Places

Mark brings considerable experience of working within the property sector for both contractors and clients. Prior to becoming the Director Of Property and Places he was the Director of Property Services for Lewisham homes where he had the responsibility for maintaining 20,000 homes and the management of 200 staff.

Mark wanted to join the YMCA as he saw the opportunity to make a real difference to the people that use our services, and is passionate about providing nice places for people to work, use or live in and is extremely proud when we have improved someone’s life through the physical environments that we create.

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Jessica Laryea
Director of Group Operation

Jessica is a qualified playworker so began her career working with children and has been working with the YMCA for over 20 years. Since joining the YMCA Jessica has risen through the ranks and has been part of the executive team for over 10 years. One of her most notable achievements was overseeing the mYpad building project in Walthamstow. Under her management, 20 shipping containers were successfully converted into high-specification single-occupancy units containing a bed, storage space, a wet-pod containing a shower and sink and limited cooking facilities.

“The values of YMCA SPG align with my personal values. I have been working for the YMCA for over 20 years now and the passion that I see from staff for wanting to make a difference is what has kept me with the organisation for all this time.”