Who's Moving: Young Enterprise, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Comic Relief and more

18 Nov 2019 News

St Mungo’s chief executive, Howard Sinclair

Chief executive 

Young Enterprise has announced that Sharon Davies has taken over as chief executive. She has been COO of Young Enterprise for the last seven years.

She is a graduate of Liverpool John Moores University, a postgraduate of Leicester University and an MBA qualified director. Prior to joining Young Enterprise, she led the Connexions service in North Cumbria.

Michael Mercieca, who stepped down on 31 October, had been leading the charity since 2012. Mercieca will be joining the international charity Junior Achievement Worldwide as a consultant to work on partnership development.

Davies commented: “My journey and experience as a teenager are the key drivers behind the passion and commitment I will bring to my new role as CEO. Young Enterprise impacts hundreds of thousands of children’s lives a year, but it is vital that now more than ever that we ensure young people are provided access the enterprise and financial skills that can shape their careers and transform their futures.

“Opportunity is a precious gift and I am passionate about working with others to make it more equally available.”

Christians Against Poverty chief executive Matt Barlow has announced that he will leave the charity next year. He will become the leader of the church he attends with his family in Bradford.

Paula Stringer, who joined as executive director a year ago, will take up the role as UK chief executive.

Stringer, who is the former head of production for BBC Sport, said: “I’m incredibly excited to be heading up this amazing charity, which is so needed by the people we serve and whose cause is very close to my heart.

“In the past year, it’s been my privilege to get to know an incredibly committed team, and I’m looking forward to meeting more of our frontline heroes in our partner churches. We have a lot to do and I’m grateful for everyone’s support and prayers.”

The British Heart Foundation has appointed Charmaine Griffiths to take over as chief executive when Simon Gillespie retires at the end of the year. 

The chief executive of Friends of the Earth, Craig Bennett, has announced he is stepping down in order to become chief executive of the Wildlife Trusts.

Comic Relief has appointed one of its trustees as its new chief executive. Alex Reid is currently head of global campaigns at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle and is moving back to the UK to take up the role.

St Mungo's chief executive Howard Sinclair is also set step down and take a 'gap year’. So far nobody has been announced to fill his role. 

Chair and Trustee

The National Centre for Social Research has appointed two new trustees, with a third set to join in December.

Phyllis MacFarlane and Mark Duke joined the board at the beginning of November.

Macfarlane is a lifelong market researcher, former managing director of GfK NOP, and current chair of the Market Research Society (MRS). She was previously Global Training Manager at GfK UK.

Duke is a consultant and former managing director at global advisory, broking and solutions company Willis Towers Watson. He was previously chair of both the pension committee of the Association of Consulting Actuaries and the actuarial committee of the Society of Pension Professionals. 

The charity's chair of trustees, Professor Sir Robert Burgess, said: “These new Trustees are welcome additions and will strengthen further the NatCen Board in exciting times for the organisation. Our charitable mission is to conduct research that works for society; the knowledge and experience these new trustees bring will ensure we continue to deliver on this objective.” 

Sam Younger CBE has been appointed new chair of the Consumers’ Association. He will replace outgoing chair Tim Gardam when he steps down on 31 December 2019.

Younger previously held chief executive positions at Shelter, the Electoral Reform Society and the Charity Commission. He will take up his new position on 1st January 2020.

Anabel Hoult, the charity's chief executive, said: “I am delighted to share Sam’s appointment and I’m confident that he will provide the council of trustees, and the organisation more broadly, with the leadership, guidance and expertise we need to continue to grow and modernise.”

Chief medical officer

Alzheimer’s Research UK has appointed Professor Jonathan Schott as the charity’s first ever chief medical officer.
His role will include supporting and shaping ongoing research, policy, advocacy and strategy work. He will continue in his current roles as professor of neurology at UCL’s Dementia Research Centre and as an honorary consultant neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “We are excited to welcome Prof Jonathan Schott, a leading researcher and neurologist, as Alzheimer’s Research UK’s new chief medical officer. Prof Schott’s expertise in clinical research, patient insight and ongoing policy work is hugely valuable and will be key in ensuring our research strategy has the greatest possible impact on the lives of people living with dementia.”


Zoe’s Place has appointed Muna Chauhan as its new head of fundraising.

Prior to joining Zoe’s Place as corporate fundraiser eight years ago, Chauhan had spent ten years working for the International Disaster Relief Fund.

Her new role will coincide with the charity’s tenth anniversary celebrations in 2021.

Joan Stainsby, executive trustee at Zoe’s Place, said: “Muna has been a huge asset to Zoe’s Place since she first joined, and she was a natural successor to Chris Ward who has been in post for the past two years and has done an excellent job.”

Starlight Children’s Foundation has appointed two new senior fundraising positions. Sarah Woods has been appointed as director of fundraising and marketing. Having led on many multi-strand Comic Relief campaigns, Woods brings 15 years’ experience.

Sam Butler has been hired as head of public fundraising, bringing experience from St John Ambulance and the Tibet Relief Fund. The newly established team will focus on promoting social and digital fundraising ideas, tools and platforms as well as the more established strengths of Starlight in corporate, events and individual giving.  

Cancer Research UK has appointed Philip Almond as its new executive director of fundraising and marketing. He will begin his role in December. 

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