The founder and chief executive of the National Citizen Service Trust (NCS) has announced that he will step down from his post next year.
Michael Lynas has spent more than 10 years at the charity, which was formally established by the government in 2010.
He became the organisation’s first chief executive in 2013 and was at the helm as the NCS Act and Royal Charter were both passed with cross-party support in Parliament.
Lynas will remain in post until spring or summer 2020 while a new leader is recruited. After his successor is appointed, he will continue his involvement with the charity as a patron.
‘Privilege of my life’
Lynas said: “It has been the privilege of my life to have led NCS over the last decade, as we have empowered almost 600,000 young people to build bridges across social divides and ladders to opportunity.
“Just as I am ready for my next challenge, NCS is now ready for its next decade. Our cross-party support is enshrined in legislation and protected by Royal Charter, we have a strong and experienced leadership team, and NCS 2.0 – our major recommissioning - has started to deliver with a fresh brand and a fantastic network of local partners that has doubled in size.
“NCS is brought to life by thousands of inspirational colleagues working up and down the country, not to mention the young people who choose the programme. I want to thank every one of them for their passion and purpose.
“NCS is a lifelong passion for me and while I am proud to hand NCS on to my successor in great shape in 2020, I will continue to champion the values and mission of NCS Trust as founder and patron.”
'NCS would not exist without Lynas'
Former prime minister David Cameron and ex-home secretary David Blunkett both paid tribute to Lynas.
Cameron, who is the chair of NCS patrons, said: “NCS would not exist today without the immense energy and dedication of Michael Lynas.
“Since 2009, he has worked tirelessly to bring it to life both inside and outside of government. NCS is one of the things that I am most proud of during my time as prime minister because it makes such a tangible difference to young people’s lives.
“Michael’s public service has helped to establish a new national institution - an achievement of which he should be justifiably proud.”
Blunkett said: “Since we first met almost a decade ago, Michael has recognised that NCS is such an important idea that it needs to be embraced by all political parties.
“This vision led to the National Citizen Service Act and Royal Charter which has broken the cycle of each new prime minister starting a new youth initiative. This has allowed NCS to learn what works best, spread this across the country and by doing so grow stronger and more relevant to the future of our country.”
Meanwhile, the charity’s chair Brett Wigdortz said: "Michael’s passion has not only brought a new idea into the world, but allowed it to flourish as something amazing.
“On behalf of everyone at NCS Trust, I would like to thank him for his leadership and for continuing to serve into 2020 while we select the right person to lead the second decade of NCS.”
The charity is currently in the process of choosing its main programme delivery partners for next year after ending its contract with The Challenge last month.