St Mungo's chief executive to step down and take a 'gap year'

14 Nov 2019 News

St Mungo’s chief executive, Howard Sinclair

St Mungo’s chief executive, Howard Sinclair, will step down in autumn 2020 and take a "gap year" before looking for his next role.

Sinclair became chief executive of the homelessness charity in 2014. He began his career as a mental health nursing assistant in the late 1970s and has since worked in a variety of roles in health, housing and social care.

He became chief executive of Broadway Homelessness and Support in 2002 and then chief executive of St Mungo’s in 2014, after the two charities merged. 

The charity will soon begin work on its next five year organisational strategy, and Sinclair has said he wanted to “give as much notice as possible to enable the board to appoint a successor and ensure a smooth transition.”

'It’s a personal decision to step down, the time is right'

He said: “St Mungo’s is starting to plan ahead to 2026. It’s a personal decision to step down, the time is right.”

Recently St Mungo’s has faced a number of controversies, including issues surrounding the charity’s outreach teams sharing information with the Home Office. Delay by the executive team at St Mungo’s meant that one of the charity's outreach teams failed to cease sharing data with the Home Office without consent, an internal review by the charity recently revealed.

The charity also narrowly avoided strike action over staff working conditions, because one too few staff took part in a vote, so the resulting ballot did not have legal validity.

Sinclair said: “There are many things I want to achieve before leaving next autumn, not least influencing the new government to take action to end homelessness. Then I plan to take the 'gap year' I’ve been promising myself for 25 years before deciding what I do next.

“It has been an enormous privilege to have worked with so many inspiring and dedicated colleagues at St Mungo’s. I am very proud to have been part of its ongoing history, in this its 50th anniversary year,” he added.

Robert Napier, chair of St Mungo’s board, said: “Howard has demonstrated great service and commitment to St Mungo’s, helping it grow and develop. We will have a lot to thank him for when he steps down next year.

“In the meantime, Howard will continue to lead the organisation in accordance with the current five year strategy. The board has commenced the process to identify and appoint a worthy successor, recognising this will take us well into next year.

“The challenges remain, with more than 4,000 people currently sleeping rough on the streets of England each night and homelessness increasing. St Mungo’s has been at the forefront of preventing homelessness and helping people to recover from being homeless and that will continue to be our goal.”

On Sinclair's sucessor, the charity said: “As is often usual with senior positions, recruiting a CEO can take some time. We will shortly be starting this process and it will be a competency-based recruitment, in line with our policies and procedures, led by members of the personnel and governance sub-committee of the board and the chair.”

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