We are a registered charity dedicated to meeting the needs of vulnerable young people through a variety of (education, youth work and family support) programmes in Dublin. These programmes are supported by a mix of State funding and unrestricted incomes generated by our Social enterprises of Sports/Fitness & Childcare. There are many opportunities for YMCA programme growth to meet the needs of young people, across Dublin and recruitment of new board members is an integral part of realising that potential.

As an organisation with a Christian ethos and values base our board members must be in agreement with this ethos to further enhance the work of the YMCA through Christian social action. 

Leanne Young, one of our board members, has shared her experience of being one of our board members: 

“I’ve been a trustee of YMCA Dublin for 2 years, it was my first time being involved at board level with a non-profit.  I’ve always done some form of voluntary work, but I was looking for something that allowed me to use my knowledge of the youth, community & education sectors in a more strategic way. The YMCA was the perfect fit. 

It’s an interesting time for the Y, with the development of our new 5-year strategy and now we’re in the first year of its implementation. My experience as a trustee has been interesting, challenging, fun, and rewarding. There’s great camaraderie, and everyone at the table is an expert in their field. I’ve learned a lot from my co-trustees and from the executive management team, and I’m certain it’s helped me advance in my own career.  

Being a trustee is a commitment, and a big responsibility but I’d recommend it to anyone. You’ll be part of a community of people that are enthusiastic, innovative, and go above and beyond for their service-users.  I’m excited and feel privileged to be a small part of YMCA Dublin’s story.”

Emma Kerins, also a board member, encourages people not to be put off by the perceptions of age or skillset when joining a board. 

“Just over two years ago I formally joined the Board of the YMCA Dublin.

My background is in human rights law and currently I work in public affairs, and at that point, had done so for about five years, working in Dublin for the most part, but also having spent some time working in Northern Ireland and New Zealand.

While I wouldn’t say I got itchy feet, I did have the urge to do something else outside of my normal Monday to Friday job and volunteer part of my time with a different organisation, perhaps with a more charitable focus or engaged more in front line services.

It was at this point that I came across an opportunity to join the Board of YMCA Dublin, who were looking for new Directors/Trustees with skills like my own. As both a charity and social enterprise, it immediately struck my interest. I contacted the organisation, made an application and was subsequently invited to join.

I’m now one year into serving on the Board of the Dublin YMCA, so how have I found it? It has been, so far, an experience I have found both challenging and rewarding. Joining a Board of Directors is serious. In order to carry out your duties, you need to be sure you can commit the time required. You also need to ensure you fully understand your role and legal obligations when it comes to both governance and your fiduciary responsibilities to the organisation.

Serving with a Board, particularly that of a charity, is also a great privilege and an extremely positive experience. You really get to know another organisation and through this, you have the chance to actively support the team in implementing its programmes and services.

From a personal perspective, it’s also a fantastic learning opportunity. It puts you in a position where you’re working closely with many other people, often from very different professions, with different skillsets to your own, in order to achieve a common purpose.

As well as being a valuable learning experience, it can also be a very meaningful one. Having the chance to volunteer your skills and your time to a charity and supporting its long term development is something that I am delighted to be a part of.

There is a perception that you need to be a certain age or have a certain skillset in order to be eligible to join a Board, but I have not found this to be the case. Diversity on boards has been proven to contribute to stronger and more ethical organisational governance. Having a mix of ages, genders, professions and ranges of experience brings a wealth of expertise to an NGO, so my advice would be not to let any such perception intimidate you. So long as you have the time, enthusiasm and commitment to carrying out your duties, there is no reason why both you and a charity can’t reap the benefits. “

We welcome conversations with anyone with a desire to help us in this push to develop our services. We would particularly welcome the contribution of those with the following skill sets; PR/Media, HR Solicitor, Solicitor.  If the role is of interest to you and you would like to discuss please drop an email to paulmcdonald@ymca.ie

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