Who’s Moving: Unlock, Big Society Capital, Refugee Action, and more

10 May 2021 News

Mark Brider, chief executive at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity.

Unlock appoints new chief executive 

Unlock, a charity for people facing stigma, prejudice and discrimination because of their criminal record, has announced that Angela Cairns will be its new chief executive. 

Cairns joins Unlock after five years as chief executive of the criminal justice charity Shannon Trust. She has worked in the voluntary sector since 2002 and has experience in organisational development, frontline delivery and advocating for change. 

Unlock recently launched a new strategy for the next five years.

Cairns, who takes up her new role on Monday 17 May, said: “I’m delighted to be joining the fantastic team at Unlock as we roll out a new five-year strategy. Together we will continue bringing about positive change with and for people with criminal records who are effectively serving a second sentence.” 

Frances Longley joins ActionAid UK as new chief executive 

Frances Longley has been appointed as the new chief executive of ActionAid UK and will join the charity next month. 

Longley has more than 25 years of experience in the charity sector and most recently was executive director for programmes and policy at CARE International UK.

Big Society Capital appoints chief executive 

Big Society Capital has appointed Stephen Muers as chief executive with effect from 1 May.

Muers has been at Big Society Capital since 2016, working for four years as head of strategy and market development and more recently as interim chief executive since May 2020. 

He joined Big Society Capital from the Civil Service, where he held the post of director, criminal justice policy, and before that, senior posts in the Cabinet Office and Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Muers said: “It is an honour and privilege to lead Big Society Capital, a unique and exceptional organisation. During my five years here, and especially in the last year as interim chief executive, I have learned how much difference can be made to some of the biggest issues facing UK society if investment capital is connected to the right organisations in the right way.

“We are at a huge moment of opportunity to grow that impact many times over and improve more people’s lives. I am looking forward to working with the fantastic team here at Big Society Capital, as well as our wide range of stakeholders, to seize that opportunity and take social impact investing to a new level.”

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity appoints new chief executive 

Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital Charity has appointed Mark Brider as its new chief executive.

Brider will be responsible for leading the transformational development and delivery of the charity’s long-term strategy, increasing its base of supporters to significantly grow its charitable income. 

He started his career in banking, where he spent just under 30 years working across a number of disciplines, including wealth management and private banking for a major global banking group.

After setting up his own consultancy service, which provided personalised and bespoke advice to high-net-worth individuals, he decided to explore his passion for charity, offering his services to Children with Cancer UK, which specialises in funding vital life-saving research. 

Soon after, he was appointed chief executive, where he spent 18 months in the role.

He said: “The trust has some of the foremost specialists in their fields providing world-class care, and I’m so excited to be joining such a passionate organisation.   

“We need to increase our charitable income in order to fund future projects that enable us to continue our mission of providing the very best care to our patients. I hope to call on my banking experience where I led businesses which provided clients with a first-class service by building trust and loyalty over the long term. I believe fundraising should be treated in the same way; where our donors enjoy a long and rewarding relationship with our charity and hospitals. I can’t wait to get started.”   

Refugee Action appoints chief executive

Refugee Action has announced Tim Naor Hilton as its new chief executive.

He has worked at Refugee Action for 19 years, starting as a frontline development worker in Manchester in 2002, before progressing to area manager in Greater Manchester and then head of Asylum in 2015.

He moved into the permanent role on 28 April, and said: “I’m very excited to be Refugee Action’s new chief executive. Refugees and people seeking asylum are facing more challenges than ever before, with the government proposing to reduce their rights and a flawed and dehumanising accommodation and support system in place.

“I start this new role with a big commitment to ramping up our plans to shift power within the charity to people with lived experience. This means not only ensuring refugees are at the heart of our movement but creating employment opportunities for them at Refugee Action and the wider sector.”

ICR appoints chief executive

Professor Kristian Helin, a world-leading cancer researcher,  will become chief executive of The Institute of Cancer Research, London, in September.

Helin was the founding director of a scientific institute in his homeland of Denmark, led research centres in Italy and the US, and co-founded a successful biotech company.

He spent 15 years as director of BRIC and was also a unit and division director at the European Institute of Oncology in Milan.

He will take over as chief executive from Professor Paul Workman, who announced in December 2019 his intention to step down.

Helin said: “I’m excited to be coming in as the new chief executive of the ICR, and to have such a fantastic opportunity to lead an organisation that is at the forefront of scientific discovery and patient benefit.

“The ICR is known around the world both for fundamental scientific discoveries about cancer, and for working closely with The Royal Marsden and other partners to take those advances to patients through pioneering translational and clinical research. I am looking forward to working closely with colleagues in the NHS, academia, industry and at research funders to build on the ICR’s achievements so far, and ensure it continues to deliver world-class research that is closely focused on improving the lives of patients.”

The Wildlife Trusts announce senior role for climate action

Kathryn Brown, a UK government independent adviser on the Climate Change Committee, will be seconded to The Wildlife Trusts as director for climate action for six months beginning in August.

As head of adaptation at the Climate Change Committee, Brown provides advice to the government on climate risks and opportunities and reports to parliament on adaptation progress. 

When she joins The Wildlife Trusts, she will help the movement of 46 nature charities improve their resilience to climate change.

Brown said: “The UK’s natural environment is facing probably its biggest threat yet. As the global climate changes, we are at risk of losing some of our most iconic landscapes and species on land and in the sea. And with them, reductions in the assets and services we all depend on like soil health, water quality and carbon storage.

“There is hope of real change in the next 12 months to start reversing biodiversity loss and to slow the impacts of climate change. But opportunities still need to be seized through the upcoming UN climate and biodiversity conferences, new UK land management schemes and new government plans for restoring nature, achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

“I’m thrilled to be joining The Wildlife Trusts during this crucial time to help them in their work to see that change happen, including demonstrating how it can be done on the ground. Their role has never been more important than it is now.”      

Greenhouse Sports appoints director of fundraising 

The sport and mentoring charity, Greenhouse Sports, has appointed Bethany Kinsella as director of fundraising.

She has been at Greenhouse Sports for more than three years and has been at the forefront of huge fundraising initiatives, including the most recent gift of £1.5m from Julia and Hans Rausing.

Prior to Greenhouse Sports she spent the last decade fundraising for causes like the Saracens Sport Foundation and Dallaglio RugbyWorks.

Kinsella said: “Greenhouse Sports is an incredible organisation and the work that everyone does is hugely important in changing young people's lives. I am extremely excited to take on my new role as director of fundraising, particularly during such a crucial time for charities. At this challenging time securing partnerships is vital in our sector. Knowing that we have the long-term support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery is a lifeline in sustaining the work our coaches do day-in and day-out with young people in disadvantaged areas of London.”

Two new trustees join the British Heart Foundation’s board

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has appointed Sir John Hood and Dr Annalisa Jenkins as new trustees.

Hood has spent his career working in the business, higher education and philanthropic sectors. Over the last 11 years he has served as president and chief executive of the Robertson Foundation which supports medical science, the environment and public education.

He has also served as vice-chancellor for the University of Oxford and the University of Auckland, and currently serves as a director of the Blackstone Group Inc. as well acting as a trustee or member on several trust and advisory boards.

Jenkins has worked in the biopharma industry for over 25 years and has overseen programmes that have taken scientific research through clinical development, regulatory approval and into healthcare settings.

Jenkins has held leadership roles at Dimension Therapeutics, Merck Serono and Bristol Myers Squibb. 

Dr Doug Gurr, BHF chairman, said: “I am very pleased to welcome two such highly qualified and respected figures to our BHF board who bring with them a wealth of international experience in business, science and academia.

“The BHF has faced a time of unprecedented uncertainty through the pandemic. I know that Sir John and Dr Jenkins will bring their leadership to help guide the charity forward and continue to deliver on our ambitions at this critical time.”

Two trustees join Tŷ Hafan’s board 

Tŷ Hafan has appointed two trustees.

Mick McGuire, a former director of economic growth and development for Welsh government, and Dr Helen Matthews, a former consultant psychiatrist at Hywel Dda University Health Board, are the newest members of Tŷ Hafan’s 10-strong board. 

Martin Davies, chair, said: “They join Tŷ Hafan at a time when the charity is facing both unprecedented demand for its services, and one of the most challenging financial and operational periods in its history. 

“Both Mick and Helen bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and contacts in their respective fields of economic development, financial services and psychiatry, and they augment and complement the expertise on the board. 

“I thank them for making this commitment to Tŷ Hafan and I am very much looking forward to working with them.” 

Governance & Leadership is a bi-monthly publication which helps charity leaders and trustees on their journey from good practice to best practice. Written by leading sector experts each issue is packed with news, in-depth analysis and real-life case studies of best practice in charitable endeavour and charity governance plus advice and guidance straight from the regulator. Find more information here and subscribe today!


More on