Daniel Flynn is the Chief Executive of YMCA North Staffordshire.
Danny has worked in the charity sector for more than 35 years, rising to CEO of YMCA North Staffordshire in 2003. Over the last 15 years, he has steered the Stoke-on-Trent based charity from a hostel with £800,000 in turnover to a multi-service youth campus turning over £5 million annually, helping hundreds of thousands of young people along the way. Last year alone, YMCA North Staffordshire touched the lives of over 25,000 young people. 61% of those at the charity’s Harding Road campus are in work. They have also built more than 40 homes in the past two years.
Working with Staffordshire University, YMCA North Staffordshire has developed pathways to success for its service users. The latest intake saw 14 young people begin their journey into higher education, signing up to degrees in engineering and computer science, to name just two. Danny’s son, wife and brother have also studied at Staffordshire University. He said: “The partnership between YMCA North Staffordshire and Staffordshire University has been massively successful. Everything we do is about developing life chances for young people, creating social mobility and opportunities for those we work with.”
Danny’s own career is a shining example of rising to success. He began working as a diesel-fitter part-time in a Stoke-based garage from 14 years old. He went full-time after leaving school at 16 with one O Level, eventually moving to a body-spraying shop in Fenton. In 1982, he was encouraged to attend Stoke-on-Trent College, where he achieved A Levels in Social Economic History and Sociology.
The following year, he began his career in the charity sector. He moved to London to work as a community service volunteer at a day centre for homeless people. A year later, he moved back to Stoke to work in social services, eventually joining the Potteries Housing Association, now called Brighter Futures, where he worked in the hostel. Within two years he became Hostel Manager and then, five years later, Deputy Chief Executive. When he was 27, he started a part-time course with Leeds Metropolitan University, to attain his Professional Diploma in Community Management. He also attained a Diploma in Management Studies from the Institute of Leadership and Management
After seven years as Deputy Chief Executive at the Potteries Housing Association, Danny joined YMCA North Staffordshire as CEO.
The Award of Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University is bestowed upon Danny in recognition of his inspirational leadership throughout the city and region and his relentless support of disadvantaged young people, transforming their lives and bringing positive change to individuals and society. It also acknowledges the vital role he plays in connecting communities, bringing people together, building relationships and tackling social issues and isolation.