Our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Since our very inception in 1844, Central YMCA has had a different perspective on the world.

At our heart, our mission is to provide diverse, innovative, and distinctive services that create spaces based on the principles of openness, acceptance, and participation, where individuals can feel safe to be themselves.

Over a century later, it is worth rearticulating and reaffirming our core values and beliefs that underpin our services and explain who we are.

We aim to give voice to and meet the needs of people rooted in our diverse communities and recognise that we are all unique with different needs, experiences, and opportunities.

We know we cannot stand still, and the Board of Trustees is committed to creating an equitable environment where everyone across the organisation is supported to create and sustain a culture of equity, in line with our vision, enabling everyone to achieve their potential, live a fulfilled life and contribute positively to society.

We realise that merely having the intent is not enough and that is why we are revising our strategy and approach, to embed diversity and inclusion into everything we do. To make this happen and be truly successful, diversity must inform all our activities and embrace all protected characteristics and more.

This is a commitment from the very top because we lead by our behaviours. Whilst we have always sought to offer access to life-changing opportunities, we have not always understood how or why we have not always succeeded. I am determined to make good this omission and change words into action.


As part of our strategy, we will:


Establish a Race Equality Network that aims to provide a space to discuss, question, challenge, and act where necessary to promote equity and diversity within our organisation.


Undertake root and branch research with all levels of staff to better understand key equality issues specific to our organisation so that we can address these. 


Review our recruitment processes to ensure we are attracting a diverse group of applicants, supporting them when they are in role and retaining them in the organisation.


Extend mandatory gender pay gap reporting to include race, disability, and sexuality.


Review and train our Board membership to increase diversity and inclusion at the top and commit to achieving a better reflection of the communities we serve, especially at our management, executive and leadership levels.  

To support this strategy, we’ve partnered with Business in the Community’s Opening Doors campaign to ensure our workplace is as inclusive as possible. The Opening Doors campaign aims to make the hiring process across UK businesses more diverse and equitable than ever before. Through this campaign, we’re planning to make 2 million jobs more inclusive by 2025.


This clearly is only a start, and we will commit to continuing a robust and honest conversation internally and externally. We need to do better.

Ryan Palmer,
Chief Executive