Issue 5 2024

CEO MONTHLY / ISSUE 5 2024 14 Young Bristol is a multi-awardwinning provider of community youth clubs, outdoor activities, and mobile youth services, as well as outdoor employment and educational opportunities. Since its inception, the charity has strived to create a sustainable impact by Since 1928, Young Bristol has remained steadfast in its mission to support young people between ages 8 and 25 throughout their out of school hours. The spectacular charity has become Bristol’s leading provider of community-based youth services, offering an accessible network to some of Bristol’s most challenging communities. For over 5 years, CEO Lee Williams DL has leveraged his corporate experience to provide Young Bristol with the strategic direction to achieve its collective goals. Recognised in this year’s Most Influential CEO Awards, Lee Williams DL tells us more about this outstanding charity and the impactful role it plays in its communities. building brighter futures for young people across Bristol. Its core values revolve around helping young people become confident, healthy, responsible, and resilient, providing them with opportunities to succeed in life and employment. Young Bristol has been recognised for its valuable contributions and most recently won the Bristol Life Awards 2024, in addition to receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, an honour that is the charity sector’s equivalent to an individual receiving an MBE. It has also seen a number of its young participants being recognised in the Bristol Young Heroes Awards. Over the past 5 years, Young Bristol has grown exponentially and between 2022–2023, the charity had contact with 20,562 young people. Through its Outdoor Employment Programme, 50 participants aged 16–25 achieved qualifications and developed their skills in a variety of outdoor activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and first aid. Young Bristol also invested significantly in its team’s development, its buildings, its quality programmes, and fostering strong partnerships. These improvements enabled the charity to provide vital support to 16 communities across Bristol and the surrounding areas. In 2018, Lee Williams DL was appointed CEO of Young Bristol and has been instrumental in providing the charity with strategic leadership and financial management. His primary duties include working closely with the Board of Trustees and delivering strategies while ensuring that operations remain aligned with the charity’s overarching mission. Lee runs Young Bristol as a business with the only major difference being that the team measures its success by the positive impact it has on its young people as opposed to financial performance. Lee Williams DL shares, “When I joined the charity, over 90% of its £300K income came from traditional fundraising. As we have grown the charity’s income (£1.3M 2024–25) to match the increase in our programmes and services, trust and grants still play an important role but now only equate to 55% of current income. Over the past five years, we have not only increased our yearly income, but we have massively diversified sources of income and therefore de-risked with alternative income coming from the likes of corporates, events, regular giving, and grants, ensuring we are more financially diverse and sustainable.” For over 40 years, Lee Williams DL has worked in both private and public sectors roles and now uses this experience to support the charity and help his colleagues learn and develop. Lee strives to be a supportive leader, especially when the team encounters challenges which can be crucial learning experiences. Throughout his career, Lee has discovered that good recruitment is key and has amassed a talented team at Young Bristol. Since the pandemic, the working world has changed dramatically across all sectors. Technological innovation now enables more roles to be performed remotely and there is a greater demand for flexible working. As CEO, Lee has embraced these changes to support staff and foster a positive working culture. Looking to the future, Young Bristol will continue to implement its 2022–25 strategy which focuses on five key pillars: Our People, Our Building and Facilities, Our Programmes, Our Influence, and Our Partnerships. Over the next 18 months, the team will introduce several more strategic plans, particularly regarding its buildings and facilities. Creating safe and state-of-the-art buildings is essential to support the team’s delivery of high quality services and provide employees with opportunities to grow and thrive. Lee Williams DL says, “On a personal level, I was really honoured in July 2020 to be appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol. We live in a forever changing world and I have no intention of slowing down or retiring. There is still so much I want to achieve personally and professionally. I intend to keep pushing the boundaries, trying new things, and continuously learning from those around me.” Led by CEO Lee Williams DL, Young Bristol will continue to make a positive difference to the lives of young people and communities around the city. For his incredible achievements, we have bestowed on Lee Williams DL this year’s award for Most Influential CEO - South West England (Youth Charity). Contact: Lee J. Williams DL Company: Young Bristol Web Address: https://www. Lee Williams DL: Community Advocate for Bristol’s Young People