Who’s Moving: Unicef UK, VisionFund International, Leeds Cares and more

20 Jan 2020 News

Chief executives 

Hospital charity, Leeds Cares, has appointed Esther Wakeman as chief executive. She will be joining from Ashgate Hospicecare in Chesterfield where she has spent the last five years as director of fundraising and marketing. She will begin her new role in February.

Wakeman doubled charitable income during her time at Ashgate. Leeds Cares is the official charity partner of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust.

Wakeman said: “Leeds Cares has huge potential for growth in the coming years and by working so closely with the Trust we’re in the unique position of being able to show our donors first-hand the difference their support will make to healthcare across the region.”
The British Gas Energy Trust has appointed Jessica Taplin as chief executive. Since its foundation the Trust has awarded more than £105m in grants.

Taplin said: “I am delighted to have been appointed, and look forward to working with the Board, British Gas, and our partners and stakeholders to effectively deliver against the strategic intent of the CIO; with a focus on enhancing the impact of our grant support and strategic partnership
programmes to help alleviate fuel poverty”.

Unicef UK has appointed a new chief executive as has Bowel Cancer UK and the NCT. Meanwhile, Samaritans have appointed the Alzheimer’s Society boss as chief executive.   



VisionFund International has appointed two new members to its board of directors; Kate Lam and Luis Hermosa.

Lam has over 25 years of experience in finance, having held senior management positions at Deutsche Bank, Bear Stearns and Standard Chartered Bank. Hermosa is an independent financial consultant a board member of World Vision Ecuador.

Sight Life, until recently known as Cardiff Institute for the Blind, has appointed John Sanders as its new chair.

Sanders is a former journalist, and the charity hopes to benefit from his expertise and personal experience as someone with a sight condition.

“I intend to make sure that even more people benefit from the life changing support Sight Life offers, as developing sight loss can be a scary and lonely place,” said Sanders.

“Blind and partially sighted people are often excluded or marginalised from every aspect of life but those who use our service say they are given hope, confidence and a life they did not think was possible. We also need to be more relevant and appealing to those who want to donate or fundraise, as public sector cuts and the state of the economy in general is making it incredibly tough for charities just to keep their doors open,” he added.


Alzheimer’s Society has announced actor Suranne Jones as ambassador.

The actor, who won a BAFTA for her role in Doctor Foster, will help the leading dementia charity on its mission to power research breakthroughs to improve care and find a cure, challenge perceptions and provide support.

Jones has accepted the role after her late mother lived with dementia for eight years, sadly passing away in 2016.

Jones said: “There are currently 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, so I’m honoured to have been asked to be an official Ambassador for Alzheimer’s Society, which I proudly accept on behalf of myself and my mother. I have supported Alzheimer’s Society for some time now and I’ve been hugely impressed at the charity’s dedication to improve the lives of people affected by dementia and create a world without dementia in the future.”

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