Andy Palmer, Chair

Andy joined YMCA St Paul’s Group at the beginning of 2016 and is the Chair of our Board of Trustees. He has over 25 years of experience in the Care and Support sector, mostly as a senior manager with a housing association that included managing schemes for adults with a learning disability and mental health and also residential care for older people. Previous roles include being Head of Housing to provide general needs accommodation within large housing estates. Andy is currently Chief Executive of a Housing Association in Essex.

Prior to joining the YMCA he was Chair of another Board of Trustees that provided respite care across East London and Essex. Andy’s interest in YMCA comes from a previous role working with young adults within a Housing Association, to provide accommodation, support, education and training to vulnerable and homeless 16 – 24 years olds. Andy is experienced in mentoring and coaching and has mentored many senior managers in recent years, within the private and charity sectors.

He lives in East London with his family and enjoys being a season ticket holder for a West London football team! He enjoys cycling and rowing and participates in long distance rowing events, mainly on the Thames.

Andy palmer St Paul’s Group Trustee

Duncan Ingram, Vice-chair

Duncan spent most of his career in telecommunications. He was a managing director at BT and group director responsible for London and for the provision of telecommunications to the Olympic Games.

He is an executive committee member of the World Alliance of YMCAs and has been vice chair of YMCA England & Wales.

Duncan is currently chair of the UK’s largest paediatric brain injury rehabilitation service The Children’s Trust, chair of Paym a mobile payments service for 12 of the UK’s largest banks and building societies, a non executive director of the 50,000 home housing association Hyde Group and of Laurence King Publishing. He has been senior independent director at the manufacturer Tullis Russell Group, chair at Faster Payments which enables near instantaneous mobile, internet and telephone payments for 52m UK account holders on behalf of over 400 financial institutions and a non executive director at South West Water. He is a past member of the British Olympic Association’s Advisory Board in the run up to the 2012 Games and of Ofcom’s Advisory Committee for London.

He has a degree from the University of Oxford.

Duncan Ingram on the board of trustees

Edward Weiss, Vice-chair

Edward Weiss is a chartered accountant and until recently he was a non-executive Director of an NHS Foundation Trust and a Home Office organisation, the Security Industry Authority, in both cases being Chair of the Audit Committees. Prior to joining these two organisations he was a member of the Criminal Cases Review Commission. Edward has also been a non-executive director and on the Audit Committee of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority.

In the voluntary sector, Edward is on the Oxford Diocesan Synod and is diocesan representative of the Church Urban Fund. He was for many years deputy chairman of the National Youth Orchestra.  Edward was Chairman of YMCA Slough and on the YMCA England and Wales national Finance and Audit Committee and National Board, until joining the board of YMCA St Paul‘s Group.

Edward was educated at Marlborough and the University of Paris. He has a BA in History and German from the Open University. He served in the Navy where he obtained a commission and qualified in the Air Branch.  He speaks fluent French and good German. He is married, with four children.

Board of trustees member Edward Weiss

Helen Brewer, Vice-chair

Helen works in finance and her career has been focussed within the private equity and real estate sectors and has included financing, company valuation and improvement, structuring and fund raising.

Helen was introduced to the YMCA at an early age and as a student she volunteered at the YMCA West London Nursery and at the YMCA’s Pavilion of Hope at EXPO 2000 in Hannover, Germany. Helen became a trustee of YMCA West London in 2016.

Helen has a BA in Banking, Finance and Management from Loughborough University and a Diploma in Professional Studies.

Picture of Helen Trustee

Gerald Chifamba

Gerald is currently a Business Development Executive for a Digital Investor Relations and Regulatory Compliance firm in Central London. He previously worked for Coventry and Warwickshire YMCA working in housing, health and wellbeing and youth work. Gerald has been involved with the YMCA for 5 years participating in local, national and international YMCA work. He’s also currently a Youth Ambassador with YMCA England and Wales.

Male smiling

Howard Dawson

Howard is currently Director of Residential Services for a 15,000 unit Housing Association in the South East of England. He leads 5 business units delivering front line services to rented, leasehold and market rented properties across 30 Local Authorities. He has over 25 years’ experience in the Housing sector of which the last 12 years are in senior management positions. He has worked for both Local Authorities and Housing Associations in a number of different roles including sales and marketing. Howard is a previous Chair of YMCA St Paul’s Group and joined the Board in 2012.

He has a post-graduate Diploma in Housing and has undertaken a high level Institute of Leadership Management programme through the Warwick Business School.

Howard is Chair of the Board and Development Asset Committee.

Howard Dawson St Paul’s Group Trustee

Louise Hedges

Louise is a Civil Servant in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government working on Local Government Reform. She previously worked on housing policy for a number of years, including leading the development and implementation of the Affordable Housing Guarantee Scheme, as well as work on Starter Homes, Affordable Home Ownership, and Right to Buy policies. Before that she worked for a large housing association.

Louise also has an MSc in Housing and Regeneration from the London School of Economics, and lives in Surbiton with her husband and two small children.

Louise Hedges YMCA St. Paul Group Trustee

Ken Youngman

Ken Youngman has operated at Executive Finance level over a long career, spanning Social Housing, Recruitment, Security Services, Kitchen supply, Music and most recently is Commercial Finance Director at Transport for London. Ken is a qualified accountant, and has had a number of non-executive and chairing roles including past chair of the G15 Finance Directors Group (A group representing the 15 largest housing associations in London) and currently Trustee of Ivy Learning Academy in North London.

Ken is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Ken Youngman on the board of trustees

Roni Savage

A Chartered Engineering Geologist and SiLC (Specialist in Land Condition), Roni has worked on major construction schemes across the UK, including the widening of the A406 and M25. She was formerly Associate Director of one of the UK’s largest Engineering Firms. In 2009, Roni established Jomas Associates, which undertakes site investigations, engineering and environmental surveys across the UK, achieving a turnover of £2m in 2017, and awarded as ‘Best Consultant to Work With’ in the Construction Enquirer Awards, 2018. Her approach is strategic, client, and cost-focused, allowing her to achieve success in her endeavours.

A mother to three boys, Roni is extremely passionate about gender diversity and social mobility, volunteering her time to mentor and coach others. She has written articles for Forbes, LinkedIn, Daily Telegraph, amongst others, and appeared on Sky News, BBC News & London Live TV. In 2018, she received several awards including Black British Business Person of the Year, Natwest’s Athena Inspirational Woman Award, Top 100 Financial Times HERoes: Champions of Women in Business in the UK & Top 100 Financial Time EMpower Ethnic Minority Leaders.

Board of trustee member Roni Savage