Power to Change CEO steps down after seven years

11 Feb 2022 News

Vidhya Alakeson, former chief executive of Power to Change

Vidhya Alakeson will stand down as CEO in March to work as director of external relations for Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party. 

Alakeson joined the charity as its founding CEO in 2015. The trust was set up with a £150m endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund (NLCF).  

Though the charity was set to cease its operations in 2022, it secured a further £20m from NLCF in March last year so it could continue its work. It will now stay open until at least 2026. 

During Alakeson’s tenure, Power to Change invested £100m in community businesses – with over two-thirds of the funding reaching those in more disadvantaged areas. Recently, the charity moved its focus from grant-making towards providing broader support for community businesses. 

Recruitment for new CEO to being 'shortly'

Tim Davies-Pugh will act as interim CEO while recruitment takes place. Currently, Davies-Pugh is director of strategy and programmes at the charity. Though he has only occupied this role for nine months, he has worked with Power to Change since 2017.

Recruitment for a permanent CEO will begin shortly, and the charity said it is looking for a candidate who will drive forward Power to Change’s 2021-2025 strategy. 

Vidhya Alakeson, said: “It has been a real privilege to lead Power to Change over the last seven years and to support the growth of the community business sector from 5,500 business to over 11,000 – all delivering vital services to local people. 
“The community business leaders I have met are inspirational, helping to transform their neighbourhoods, and it has been a pleasure to collaborate with exceptional partners to address local needs and drive regeneration. 
“I am proud of everything we have achieved, and of the dedicated team I have worked with. There are still big challenges ahead, if we are to create more opportunities for people across the country, but I am confident Power to Change will continue to deliver remarkable things. This next chapter in my career is an exciting step to deliver social change from a new vantage point.”

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.


More on