YMCA Scotland has appointed its youngest ever chairman with twenty-four-year-old Jamie Lockhart taking on the challenge of overseeing the organisation’s pioneering work
Jamie, a fourth year theology student at Edinburgh University, takes on the role after serving on the executive committee of YMCA Scotland for the last three years.
He has taken over from Mike Will CBE, who stands down after eight years in the role to concentrate on his new role as President of YMCA Europe.
Jamie said: “I am thrilled and honoured to have been elected as chair of YMCA Scotland. Looking back to when I first encountered YMCA I would have never imagined that I would become chair. I think it is the result of positive immersive leadership and developmental experiences within the movement.
“Over the past five years I have been involved with the work of the YMCA locally, nationally and globally.
“These experiences have helped shape my understanding of what ‘youth empowerment’ means to the YMCA and the fundamental importance of diversity within the organisation.
“Moreover, these experiences have deepened my appreciation of the incredible – over 130 years – legacy of the organisation, both in Scotland and throughout the world.
“YMCA is a Christian organisation and our foundation is on Christian principles. My continuing study of theology not only helps inform the application of these principles, but also why these are important to the organisation.”
In Scotland the YMCA operates in over 100 local communities through 32 local YMCA organisations working with the most vulnerable children, young people and families. It supports young people to achieve their fullest potential.
Jamie added: “I am wholly committed to the work of the YMCA and inspired by the many examples of high-quality youth work apparent in YMCAs throughout Scotland.
“I very much look forward to leading YMCA Scotland as we, in a challenging climate to continue to be effective at delivering our work.”
Kerry Reilly, YMCA Scotland chief executive, said: “I am delighted with the appointment of Jamie as the new chair. As a youth empowerment organisation, this exemplifies our commitment to youth leadership. Jamie is a graduate of our YMCA Youth Governance training programme and has excellent skills and experience to lead the YMCA in Scotland.”
YMCA Scotland is the national voice for 31 local YMCAs working with over 5000 individual children and young people each week. Each local YMCA is autonomously governed by a local Board of Management.
Founded in 1844, today the YMCA operates in 119 countries reaching over 58 million people.