Who’s Moving: Plan International UK, Action for Children, StepChange and more

27 Nov 2023 News

In this fortnightly column, Civil Society looks at people moving roles in the UK charity sector. There is a new CEO at Black Equity Organisation, and Community Integrated Care begins recruitment for its next chair.

Martin Houghton-Brown

St John Ambulance

Sue Ryder CEO to leave

Heidi Travis, chief executive of Sue Ryder, will be leaving the organisation in the spring of 2024.

After more than 14 years with Sue Ryder, 11 of those as the CEO, Ryder has decided that the time is right for her to semi-retire.

Rima Makarem, chair of Sue Ryder said: “Heidi leaves Sue Ryder in a strong position with an exciting future and will be greatly missed by the staff and volunteers.

“Heidi will continue to lead this fantastic organisation as we recruit for a new chief executive and I hope to be able to update on the new appointment in the first few months of 2024.”

Wales Council for Voluntary Action lead steps down

The CEO of WCVA, Ruth Marks, has announced her plan to retire after nine years at the helm of the membership body.

She will leave at the end of April. Marks is also an independent member of a committee on the Welsh government and a trustee of Sustain Wales and ACEVO.
“I’ve had an amazing time as Chief Executive of WCVA. Working with the staff team and board of trustees, we have achieved so much. We are in a really good position to begin our 90th anniversary year in 2024 and continue our focus on our members, our strategy and our unique role in supporting the voluntary and community sector all over Wales.”
The charity will begin recruiting for a new CEO shortly, it said.

Black Equity Organisation chief steps down

Wanda Wyporska has stepped down as CEO of BEO after joining this March. Timi Okuwa, the charity’s director of partnerships and programmes, has now stepped into post as CEO.
Before her role at BEO, Wyporska was CEO of the Society of Genealogists for a year and a half.

Wyporska said in a LinkedIn post that it had been an “immense privilege” to work there and that she is taking some time to “rest and refresh” but will be available for consulting.
A spokesperson for BEO said: “Dr Wanda Wyporska has been an integral part of our growth since joining. We are grateful for her contribution and wish her well with her future endeavours. Moving forward, BEO will be led by Timi Okuwa, who has been BEO’s Director of Partnerships and Programmes since before the launch of the organisation.”

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation hires new secretary general

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation and Association has appointed Martin Houghton-Brown as secretary general.

Houghton-Brown will join from St John Ambulance in April next year, after leading the charity since 2018. Prior to this appointment, he was CEO of homeless charity Depaul UK and Missing People.
The chair of the International Award Foundation, the Duke of Edinburgh, said: “This is an excellent outcome of a lengthy search and I know that I can speak on behalf of the whole board when I say how delighted I am that Martin has accepted the position of secretary general.

“His leadership style, evident passion and strong commitment to our charity’s mission and values makes me believe that we have found the right person to take The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award forward. We fully support and understand Martin’s commitment to see through the changes at St John’s, a delivery partner with the DofE UK, which is necessitating the long transition period, but we are working closely with them to make it as smooth as possible.”

New directors for Plan International UK

The aid charity has appointed two new directors. Nick Radmore has been appointed as the charity’s director of fundraising and supporter engagement. He has worked in the charity sector for over 20 years and has worked at charities like the British Heart Foundation and GOSH.
Kathleen Spencer Chapman has been promoted to director of influencing and youth engagement. It comes after being head of policy, advocacy and research for over 5 years. Previously, she has worked at organisations like Oxfam, Bond and NSPCC.
Rose Caldwell, CEO of Plan International UK, said: “I am thrilled that Nick and Kathleen have stepped into these pivotal roles at such a critical time for Plan International UK and the wider development sector. 
“Their combined impressive skills and experience will help ensure that the charity continues to progress in its mission of championing children’s rights and equality for girls.”

Action for Children hires director

Fiona Steel has been appointed as Action for Children’s new national director for Scotland to lead over 850 staff and 90 services. She takes over from Paul Carberry, who became CEO of the charity earlier this year.
Steel has worked at Action for Children since 1997 in various roles, beginning as a practice team manager. Before that, she was a social worker at Glasgow and Strathclyde Council.

Steel said: “It’s a real privilege to be appointed National Director, and it’s my focus to ensure we continue to build on the positive impact of our broad work, which is delivered by highly qualified and dedicated colleagues. My team and I will work with children and families, who after all are the experts, to deliver the innovative solutions, support, care and love they need and want.”

New chair for Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis

Action for Pulmonary Fibrosis has announced Mike Stubbins as its new chair of trustees. He succeeds Steve Jones, who chaired the charity for six years.
Stubbins has been a member of the charity’s board since May 2022. He is also programme lead of Genomics England and worked at GSK in various roles for 24 years.

CEO of the charity, Louise Wright, commented on his appointment: “Mike joins us at a pivotal moment as we mark our 10th anniversary year.  We’re a fast-growing charity determined to widen our reach and influence to change the outcomes for people living with and affected by pulmonary fibrosis.  I know Mike’s research and development expertise and lived experience will be invaluable.”

Community Integrated Care chair to step down

The national social care charity has announced that its chair, Libby Raper, will be stepping down after five years in post next March.
It has already begun an open recruitment process for its next chair.
Jim Kane, CEO of Community Integrated Care, said: “Whilst everyone at our charity will be extremely sad to say goodbye, she leaves with our sincerest gratitude for her incredible contribution and bestows a wonderful legacy. Libby has ensured that her successor is on a strong footing, and we look forward to welcoming applications to follow her as our chair of the board of trustees in 2024.” 

Debt charity looks for new chair

StepChange Debt Charity has begun the recruitment process for its next chair of trustees after John Griffith-Jones announced he would be stepping down next May.
Griffith-Jones has chaired the charity since 2019 and previously held senior roles at KPMG.

Tinnitus UK recruits head of brand and communications

Tinnitus UK has appointed Jo March as its head of brand and communications. She will be leading the charity’s activities as they continue to market their new brand.

March joins from Media & Crisis Management Ltd, where she worked freelance as a responder. She is a chartered PR practitioner who has had roles at Tower Hamlets Homes and Swan Housing Group.
On her appointment, she said: “I’ve spent the last decade working in social housing, and I’m looking forward to focusing on a different sector at Tinnitus UK. I’m keen to get stuck in, and I know there is a lot to learn on the subject, but good communication transcends sectors. With exciting projects, including Tinnitus Week 2024, coming up, there will be a lot to do!”

New trustee for the Sleep Charity

The Sleep Charity has announced that Desaline Joseph has joined its board of trustees. Joseph is a sleep consultant at the children’s hospital Evelina London.

The Sleep Charity’s CEO, Vicki Beevers, said: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Joseph as a new trustee. 

“Her expert knowledge of childhood and adolescent sleep disorders will help to strengthen our approach to children’s sleep. Her experience in sleep education and her passion for helping young people thrive will be hugely valuable.  

“Dr Joseph will be a real asset to our team, and I look forward to working alongside her to further The Sleep Charity’s reach and impact." 

Speaking of her new role, Joseph said: “I am excited to have been appointed as a trustee for The Sleep Charity. 

“I am a huge admirer of the charity's work, and I am passionate about helping people, especially those suffering from sleep disorders, and being able to support them to achieve quality sleep. I am looking forward to working with the team and alongside other trustees, and I hope to help make a difference to those who need help.” 

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