Julia Upton

29 January 2021

We are pleased to announce that Julia Upton has been appointed Chair of YMCA Milton Keynes.

In addition to supporting the charity for many years, Julia has demonstrated a considerable commitment to Milton Keynes and the local non-profit sector. This dedication was acknowledged in 2016 when Julia was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for her services to the community of Milton Keynes, and in June 2020 was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire.

The Charity is going through an exciting stage of transition and we are delighted that Julia will lead the Board as we commence the next chapter in our story.

In April we will launch our new three-year strategy, providing a road map as to how we will strengthen and diversify the support we provide to young people in Milton Keynes. Providing safe housing is a vital step, but it is only the first in terms of helping our residents to thrive. We offer much more, including employment and mental wellbeing support, and are eager to expand our service offering in the coming months and years.

Speaking about the future, Julia said: “The challenges our young people face today have been magnified by the pandemic. Homelessness, unemployment and increasing violent crime are just some of the issues that our young people are having to deal with. YMCA Milton Keynes is here to equip our residents with the practical and emotional support they need to ensure they have the opportunities they deserve to belong, contribute, and thrive. With a dedicated Board and staff team, I know the next three years will be transformational for YMCA Milton Keynes and feel privileged to Chair the charity going forward.”

Last year we opened our new state-of-the-art campus, which was a significant achievement; supporting existing residents while moving into a new building and providing housing for even more people was no small task. This effort was overseen by Cheryl Montgomery, our outgoing Chair.

Looking back, Cheryl said: “YMCA Milton Keynes has developed enormously in recent years. The growth of the charity is testament to its commitment to support vulnerable young people in Milton Keynes, offering hope and the tools needed to go on to a brighter and more positive future. I will continue to support the charity as a Trustee and feel reassured that with Julia’s experience the charity will continue to go from strength to strength.”

We’d like to thank Cheryl for her leadership during her time as Chair. While there is much uncertainty in the external environment, we feel confident that as we enter our 40th year, it will be one of our most significant yet.