Youth homelessness charity Depaul UK has announced the appointment of Missing People chief executive Martin Houghton-Brown as its new leader.
Houghton-Brown is set to join Depaul UK on a part-time basis initially over the autumn and early winter, before becoming full-time chief executive on 1 January 2013.
He is leaving his role at Missing People, where he has been chief executive since 2009, to replace Paul Marriott, who is leaving after an eight-year tenure to take the CEO position at St Cuthbert’s Hospice in Durham.
Role ‘a dream come true’
Jonathan Wilkes, chair of Depaul UK, said that he was “delighted” about the appointment.
“Martin impressed all of us with his wealth of experience and his passion for supporting young vulnerable people,” he said. “He possesses an admiration for what Depaul UK has achieved and a strong desire to help us grow and further develop our work serving homeless young people and we look forward to working with him.”
Wilkes also thanked outgoing CEO Marriott for “his leadership, dedication and skill".
Martin Houghton-Brown himself described his new role as “a dream come true”.
“Depaul UK is leading the way at working with those young people in greatest need and providing them with the safe places they so desperately need,” he said.
“Having worked with a very special team at Missing People I am looking forward to working with the skilled and talented staff and volunteers of Depaul UK to make the UK a place where no young person ever has to sleep in an unsafe place again.”
Government strategy for missing persons
One of Houghton-Brown’s notable successes as Depaul UK chief executive was lobbying for the establishment of a Home Office Taskforce, as well as the first government strategy for missing persons.
In June this year, two of the children featured in Missing People’s Big Tweet for Missing Children were found safe and well.
Prior to his role with Missing People, Houghton-Brown was a deputy director at The Children’s Society, where he founded the Young Runaways Action Plan.
In 2011, he was appointed to the Office of the Children’s Commissioner’s inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Gangs and Groups (CSEGG), and then elected as vice president of Missing Children Europe.