John hands over reins of Scarborough YMCA after 40 years

Businessman and philanthropist John Birley, who has served the YMCA for nearly 40 years, has stepped down from his role with the organisation.

Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th March 2019, 9:33 am
Tim Boyes, left, and John Birley

He was chairman for 25 years and served 12 as president of the organisation.

Taking up his place at the helm is Timothy Boyes, deputy Chairman and a director of the Boyes family firm.

"It has been such an honour and privilege to have been able to contribute to the work of the

YMCA, " said Mr Birley, who also played pivotal and successful roles at Plaxtons and Scarborough Football Club.

"The organisation has grown in so many ways and is one of Scarborough's most important assets."

"Supporting the town for the past 173 years, the YMCA is a thriving hub of creative activity. I am so proud

of the support given to local people every day by the staff and volunteers, and my sincere hope is that it will receive the support it needs to enable it to continue."

Paying tribute to Mr Birley, Mr Boyes said: "He is an absolute gentleman who treats everyone with respect, and in turn deserves and receives the respect of others in the town.

"I know that it is a standing joke among his family that John can never make a quick trip into town, as he will always be stopped at least three times by people who want to talk

to him. I could not be more delighted to take over the role from him, and I will devote my efforts to advocating for such a vital community organisation."

YMCA Scarborough is well-known for its theatre, which hosts more than 150 performances each year and the charity also delivered more than 1,000 activity sessions last year

including youth clubs, fencing, Ju Jitsu, musical theatre classes and walking netball, as well as providing valuable opportunities for people to gain new skills through volunteering.

Mr Birley said: "I have known Tim for many years, both professionally and socially, and as well as helping to build a very successful business, he is a great supporter of worthy causes in the town, including the YMCA.

"I cannot think of anyone I would rather succeed me as president of such an amazing organisation"

Steve Marsh, executive director of YMCA Scarborough, said: "We are delighted to welcome Tim as our new president. I am very much looking forward to working with him. I want to thank John, both personally and on behalf of everyone at the YMCA, for everything he has done to help us make such a positive difference.

"He is one of a kind in the very best way, and although he is stepping-down from his official role, his contribution will live on at YMCA Scarborough for many years to come."

Mr Boyes takes up his role later this month.