National Citizen Service Trust CEO to step down after four years

10 Jul 2024 News

Mark Gifford, outgoing CEO of National Citizen Service Trust

National Citizen Service Trust

The chief executive of the National Citizen Service (NCS) Trust has announced his decision to step down after four years at the helm. 

Mark Gifford, a former Waitrose & Partners director, joined NCS Trust in March 2020. 

NCS Trust said he will leave in late autumn to lead an Oldham-based housing association and that the recruitment process for his successor “is now underway”.

‘Gifford leaves strong foundations for his successor’

NCS Trust manages and supports NCS, a government-funded programme as part of the National Youth Guarantee.

The organisation offers a range of experiences to young people that help them become world and work ready.

During his time at NCS Trust, Gifford helped transform NCS into a year-round offer delivered through a network of more than 200 frontline youth sector organisations. 

The NCS offer to young people aged 16-17 now includes trips away from home, grant-funded programmes in local communities and online activities. 

In 2023-24, Gifford led a new strategy for NCS, which resulted in 178,000 experiences delivered to young people, around 48,000 more than had been commissioned. 

NCS Trust said: “The Trust’s running costs have been reduced year on year under Mark’s leadership, showing a focus on value for money, and youth voice has been implemented across the organisation, with young people shaping and influencing the direction of NCS. 

“Mark leaves strong foundations for his successor to build on.”

‘Now is the time for personal change’

Gifford said: “My time at NCS Trust has been incredibly rewarding as we have developed a new strategy and built our reputation for delivering transformed experiences for young people. Thanks to a strong network of partners and grantees, as well as my valued team at NCS Trust, our new strategy has achieved a successful first year.

“I’ll look back fondly on being part of this journey helping young people boost their prospects in life thanks to their involvement in NCS experiences. To help them become work ready and world ready has been a huge honour. Now is the time for personal change, with a role closer to my home in the north west.”

NCS Trust chair Harris Bokhari said: “Mark will leave NCS in a much stronger position with more young people engaged in a portfolio of experiences and on a solid footing managing public money efficiently. Mark has played a pivotal role in advancing the Trust’s strategy and vision and leaves us in good stead to continue our mission into 2025 and beyond.

“On a personal level, I want to thank Mark for his warm welcome when I joined as chair last year, and for his insight, honesty and integrity. I wish Mark the best of luck as he pursues a new opportunity.”

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