Read how David's network and experience helped the YMCA Trinity Group find the right person for their Executive Team

Pure Executive was selected to help YMCA Trinity Group appoint a Non-Executive Chair for the charity which provides a wealth of support programmes for young people in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Read how David Culley, Director at Pure Executive, was able to use his extensive network and apply his experience to help the charity find the right person to guide, govern and support the Board and Executive team.


YMCA Trinity Group is a charity covering the whole of Cambridgeshire and Suffolk which supports young people to realise their full potential on their journey from dependence to independence. Established for over 160 years and having grown through the merger of smaller YMCA organisations in the Eastern region, it is now one of the largest YMCA groups in the UK.


Antonia Maclean, Trustee of the YMCA Trinity Group, was tasked with leading the recruitment of a Non-Executive Chair to the charity’s Board. For this particular role, she wanted to explore a broader network and to talk to a wider range of people.

She explained: “Although the role is voluntary, it is absolutely critical to the charity and a lot of people depend on it. We have a very strong Board in place but I know from experience that if the Chair does not pass muster then trustees will leave. We wanted to treat this recruitment process with the same importance as a paid position and to ensure there was dedicated time and focus applied to finding the right person.”


Antonia said: “We chose to work with David and Pure Executive for two reasons. Firstly his positive and clear style and secondly because even in the interview we could already see he had people in mind and ideas for the role. Any initial concerns we had about his focus being predominately Cambridge-focussed were eased. It was obvious that his thinking, network and ideas were much broader than this.”


Having taken the time to really understand the right fit for the charity, while still working to a carefully planned schedule, David was quickly able to help tighten up the specifications and advise on the most engaging language to use.

Antonia added: “David really worked his extensive network to source potential candidates for us. It was a joint responsibility to create a list of potential candidates and we worked in partnership throughout. We agreed the focus needed to be on a small, tight list of priorities. As a complex charity providing many different types of support programmes, we were looking for someone with business and not-for-profit experience and someone with a passion for what our charity does and our mission of helping young people.

“The final shortlisted candidates were all a great fit for our charity and David did an excellent job of keeping everyone briefed and the candidates warm throughout. We now see David as someone the charity has a relationship with and one which we are sure will continue in the future.” 

About David Culley

David says, "It was a pleasure working with the Leadership team at YMCA Trinity Group, they were open to challenge, receptive to ideas and forthcoming with communication, this assignment has been a Partnership in every sense of the word”.

David Culley is Director at Pure.  David joined the recruitment industry in 1999 following graduation with an Honours degree in Occupational Psychology. He joined Pure shortly after company formation developing Public sector and charity recruitment and establishing the annual Cambridgeshire Charity and Public Finance Conference.

Pure Executive is the Executive Search division of Pure, professional recruitment specialists for the East of England. We specialise in board level appointments across a range of sectors and have a strong track-record supporting privately-owned organisations, non-profit and listed businesses in the East of England. For more details of our Executive recruitment services visit

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Written by

David Culley

David joined Pure in 2003 and has since played a key role in our growth. He has a great reputation among our charity and public sector customer base and is responsible for delivering executive recruitment solutions. David became Managing Director in April 2022 and now oversees all our business operations, while also staying close to his customers and being part of the Cambridge business community.

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