7 April 2021

We are saddened to announce that Alan Fraser our CEO will be leaving YMCA Heart of England in May. Alan will be missed and we wish him every success for the future. Pauline Tomlinson our Assistant CEO will stepping into the role of CEO for the interim period. Trustees will make an announcement about recruitment for a permanent successor in due course. Our staff and partners have all been informed and the statements sent out are below for your information.


Announcement from Alan Fraser CEO 

Back in 2019 I advised the chair of trustees that it was my intention to move on from YMCA Birmingham (as it was then) at some point in 2020 or early 2021. After fourteen years or so at the helm, the merger between YMCA Birmingham and YMCA Coventry & Warwickshire seemed to provide a natural point for me to bring my time as chief executive here to an end. On that basis we recruited a new assistant chief executive in the expectation that they would be available to help provide some continuity after my departure.

Obviously, Covid-19 then intervened and rather blew my plans off course. The world was plunged into a huge crisis and it didn’t feel right for me to leave the association that I had worked so hard to build up at a point when the future seemed so uncertain. In view of what was happening that still feels like it was the right decision both for me and the association. Thankfully, the pandemic crisis is now easing and, at least in part due to the continuity I was able to provide, the association’s future looks secure. We now need to prepare for a post-pandemic future and that means moving forward on a number of initiatives that were paused because of Covid.

Having felt that it was right to stay whilst the pandemic played out, it no longer feels right for me to start driving forward on a number of fronts when I know that I’m not intending to be around to see them through. It feels fairer to the association to allow my successor to shape those projects in their own way. Pauline Tomlinson has also established herself as assistant chief executive and proved herself more than capable of providing the continuity that the board were seeking when they made the appointment. The chair and I have therefore held various conversations over recent weeks and agreed that now is the right time for me to leave YMCA Heart of England. I will shortly begin handing things over to Pauline, and I will leave as soon as that transition is completed, which is likely to be at or before the end of May. Trustees will make further announcements about the chief executive’s position in due course.

I would like to thank you all for being part of the incredible journey I have taken over the past fifteen-and-a-half years. It has been a huge honour and privilege to work with such an amazing group of people. I feel that I leave YMCA work across Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire in much better shape than when I arrived and for that I want to thank all of you. I am incredibly proud of what we have done here and of the association that I have helped to create. I count myself as genuinely lucky to have had a job which I have loved so much.

Thank you all for all your help, support and camaraderie over the past fifteen-and-a-half years.

God bless.


Statement from Paul Harris, Chair of Trustees

Further to the email from Alan regarding his intention to resign his position, I wanted to reassure all staff that I have been working closely with him over recent weeks on the timing of his departure and the board have agreed these plans.

We are obviously disappointed to be losing Alan after such a long and successful career at YMCA Birmingham and, latterly, as the CEO of YMCA Heart of England, but the board recognise and understand Alan’s desire to continue to develop his career.

We have asked Pauline Tomlinson to step in as Acting CEO after Alan’s departure and I am delighted to say that she has agreed. The board will make a further announcement about our plans for a permanent CEO shortly.

In the meantime, we hope that you will all support Alan and Pauline as they work together on the handover of CEO duties.