Who’s Moving: Nuffield Health, Galop, Childhood Trust and more

28 May 2024 News

In this fortnightly column, Civil Society looks at people moving roles in the UK charity sector…

Michael Davis, chief executive of NatCen


Nuffield Health announces CEO change

Healthcare charity Nuffield Health has announced that its chief executive Steve Gray has decided to retire after nine years leading the charity and that Bupa UK Insurance CEO Alex Perry will succeed him later this year.

Gray was listed as the highest paid CEO at the largest 100 charities in the country in the latest Charity Chief Executives Survey but his pay halved to between £620,0000 and £630,000 in 2022.

Gray said: “After nine years leading Nuffield Health and over 20 years working in the healthcare sector, I have decided the time is right for me to retire.

“It’s been a tough decision as Nuffield Health is an incredibly special place to work and that’s down to the 17,000 talented, passionate and dedicated people who are the driving force behind Nuffield Health. 

“My priority will be to ensure a smooth transition so that the charity is in the strongest position when I hand over the baton to Alex to continue to drive forward our mission to build a healthier nation.”

Perry said: “I’m excited and look forward to working with the whole team at Nuffield Health to build a great future for the charity and its beneficiaries.”

National Centre for Social Research appoints CEO

The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) has appointed Michael Davis as its next chief executive, joining in late August 2024. 

Davis is currently the chief business performance officer at marketing data and analytics business Kantar, where he has worked since 2017.

He was previously UK managing director of research consultancy Ecorys and chief executive of non-departmental public body the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

NatCen’s current CEO Guy Goodwin announced his semi-retirement in September 2023, and will step down at the end of May 2024.

In the interim period, deputy chief executive Gillian Prior will lead the charity over the next few months.

NatCen chair Stuart Etherington said: “We are delighted that Michael is joining the National Centre for Social Research.

“He brings both experience and enthusiasm to the role of CEO as the organisation moves into its next stage of development.”

Social inclusion charity hires CEO

Scottish social inclusion charity Aberdeen Cyrenians has appointed Donna Hutchison as its chief executive.

Hutchison joined the charity, founded in 1968 by a group of volunteers and students from the University of Aberdeen, in 2022 as head of corporate and business services and previously led a consultancy business in the energy industry.

“I joined Aberdeen Cyrenians after 20 years in the energy industry and can honestly say that every day I spring out of bed,” she said.

“I love seeing the positive impact that Aberdeen Cyrenians has on the city and, if I can play even a small part in that, then I’m delighted and humbled.”

LGBT+ charity appoints interim CEO

Trustees at LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop have appointed former Leap Confronting Conflict chief executive Ben Kernighan as its interim CEO.

Kernighan began his career at the Terrence Higgins Trust and was previously group chief executive of the National Union of Students and deputy CEO of NCVO.

He said: “I’m excited to work in partnership with the Galop team and colleagues across the sector, keeping the best interests of LGBT+ victims and survivors at the heart of Galop's work.”

Child poverty charity announces leadership change

London-based charity the Childhood Trust has announced that its long-standing chief executive Laurence Guinness will be stepping down from his role on 20 June.

The charity’s trustees have appointed former director of education at capacity building charity Impetus Neha Mahendru as interim chief executive from 1 July and will immediately begin a search for a permanent CEO.

Guinness will join national children’s charity Variety as CEO on 1 August.

“It has been an honour to serve the children and young people of London during my time leading the trust,” he said.

“I leave with mixed emotions, saying goodbye to valued supporters, colleagues and our wonderful charity partners who have helped make our work so impactful. They are all true champions for children.”

Young Women’s Trust appoints chair 

Young Women’s Trust, a charity which campaigns for workplace equality for young women, has appointed deputy director of the Institute for Government Emma Norris as its chair.

Norris previously worked at the Institute for Public Policy Research, the Royal Society for Arts and at the Institute for Policy Analysis and Research in Rwanda. 

She will take over from Jo-Ann Robertson, CEO of Global Markets at Ketchum, who has been the charity’s chair for the past six years.

Norris said: “I am excited to work with the brilliant team on their next steps in delivering social change - building on the charity’s rich feminist history, delivering fantastic services to young women, and making the most of the opportunity the coming general election provides to deliver the policy changes young women desperately need.”

Moorfields Eye Charity hires chair

Moorfields Eye Charity has appointed Louise Wood as its next chair, succeeding Mervyn Walker when he steps down from the role in July 2024.

Wood has worked for over 30 years at research and innovation organisations including as director of science, research and evidence at the Department of Health and Social Care.

Since December 2022, Wood has been chair of the Association of Medical Research Charities, of which Moorfields Eye Charity is a member.

Wood said: “I’m passionate about the delivery of groundbreaking research, innovations in health care and implementation of evidence-informed public policy to improve people’s health and address inequalities, growing the UK's reputation as a leading international centre for eye health.” 

NSPCC appoints director of communications  

Children’s charity NSPCC has appointed Devia Gurjar, formerly chief charity and external affairs officer at learning disability charity Hft, as its executive director of marketing and communications.

Prior to joining Hft, Devia held director level and senior strategic marketing and communications roles at Barnados, Girlguiding and RNIB.     

Gurjar will step into the role following David Hamilton’s departure for a new role at the British Film Institute.  

She will begin the role on 1 August, with the position being filled in the meantime by acting director of marketing and communications James Barker.

Gurjar said: “I am looking forward to joining my colleagues to work with children and young people, dedicated volunteers and supporters to expand the charity's impact in the future.”

Sight loss charity recruits co-ordinator

A Scottish sight loss charity has appointed a co-ordinator to oversee its efforts to recruit more volunteers.

Retired police officer Graham Ross has joined Seescape, formerly Fife Society for the Blind, as its volunteer co-ordinator.

Ross said: “Our big priority is to recruit people for our befriending service.

“We have a waiting list of people who would like to have a befriender to help and encourage them, but, at the moment, we have more people waiting than volunteers.”

MND Association appoints two executive directors 

The Motor Neurone Disease Association has appointed Jo Coker as its director of income generation and Richard Evans as director of engagement.

Coker’s most recent position as director of fundraising and commercial at the RSPB saw her responsible for an annual income of over £100m, overseeing individual giving, legacies, high value, membership, commercial and income operations teams.

Evans has worked across communications, media and public affairs for 20 years at charities including Diabetes UK, the King’s Fund and Blood Cancer UK.

MND Association chief executive Tanya Curry said: “The two roles are so connected and as such, it will be a fantastic opportunity for Jo and Richard to work together and bring new ideas and fresh perspective to our engagement and income generation functions to help us further our support for people with MND.” 

Disability arts charity hires five trustees

Liverpool-based disability arts charity DaDa has added five trustees to its trustee board.

Its board now includes stand-up comedian and writer Laurence Clarke, senior lecturer in disability studies at Liverpool Hope University Erin Pritchard, artist and community engagement development manager Christine Bithell, BSL Celebrations chair Barry Avison, and returning trustee Mandy Redvers-Rowe.

Redvers-Rowe said: “As a blind writer I am keen to place characters with a different lived experience at the heart of her dramas. 

“I am delighted to be invited onto the DaDa board and hope that my experience and knowledge can be useful in shaping the future of this strong disabled-led organisation.”  

Royal Society for Blind Children appoints trustee

The Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC) has appointed technology entrepreneur Simon Ward as a trustee.

Ward, who founded global marketing technology company Inspired Thinking Group, will work with CEO Julie Davis and the board to further expand the services that the RSBC offers, as well as provide strategic guidance on its expansion.

Davis said: “As an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and global pioneer in marketing technology, he brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge, and we’re honoured that he has chosen to dedicate his time to us as a trustee.” 

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