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5 senior charity sector moves

Melanie May | 23 February 2022 | News

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Following the announcement earlier this month that Vidhya Alakeson, CEO of Power to Change, is to become Director of External Relations for Keir Starmer, here’s news of this, and other charity sector appointments and moves.

Vidhya Alakeson leaves Power to Change to work for Keir Starmer

After seven years, Vidhya Alakeson has left her role as Chief Executive of Power to Change to take up a new position as Director of External Relations for Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party, in March. Recruitment will shortly begin for a new Chief Executive who will drive forward Power to Change’s 2021-2025 strategy. In the interim period, Power to Change will be led by Tim Davies-Pugh who is currently Director of Strategy and Programmes and has worked with Power to Change since 2017.


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Simon Sotomey takes up permanent CFO position at SASC

Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC) has expanded its senior team with the appointment of Simon Sotomey as Chief Financial Officer to lead the finance and operations functions which were merged last year. Sotomey joined SASC in July 2021 as interim CFO and has now taken on the role permanently. Prior to joining SASC, he was Chief Financial & Operating Officer at Hanson Asset Management. He was also involved with a start-up fintech service provider. He has held various NED and Trustee positions too and is currently a trustee and Chair of the Finance and Risk Committee for Buckinghamshire Mind, an independent charity supporting people with mental health problems. He is also a trustee and treasurer for the Grae Matta Foundation, dedicated to improving mental health in higher education and the workplace.

Carla Priddon

Carla Priddon appointed CEO of Read Easy UK

Adult literacy charity Read Easy UK has appointed Carla Priddon as its new CEO.  Priddon joins Read Easy after 20 years in the charity sector – the last five years at The Way Youth Zone, a charity which provides a youth-led space for young people in Wolverhampton.  She was responsible for growing The Way from a start-up, to a project which now has an average of 60,000 visits each year from young people across the city, as well as 50 staff, over 100 volunteers and an income of £1.2 million. Priddon replaces Read Easy UK’s founder Ginny Williams-Ellis who will retire at the end of March, nearly 11 years after starting the charity in 2011. She takes up her new post on 21 February and will officially take over as CEO on 1 April 2022, after a six-week handover period prior to Williams-Ellis’s departure. 

Rebecca Porta joins The Urology Foundation as CEO

The Urology Foundation (TUF) has appointed Rebecca Porta as Chief Executive. An established and experienced charity Chief Executive, Porta brings a wealth of experience having held senior roles within some of the UK’s leading health and medical research charities, including The Multiple Sclerosis Society, CancerBACUP (now Macmillan Cancer Support) and the British Lung Foundation. Having led male cancer charity, The Orchid Appeal, for over 11 years, she has extensive experience and understanding of the urology community. She joins the Foundation from Bowel Research UK where she oversaw the merger of two medical research charities and the launch of the new charity. Porta is also a Trustee of Cancer52, an alliance of 100 organisations working to address the issue of inequality for rare and less common cancers.

New Head of Charity and Corporate Partnerships for Currensea

Currensea has created a new Head of Charity and Corporate Partnerships role to develop its ‘powered by’ offering for charities and corporate partners. Rory Maclean has joined Currensea from Givergy, where he was Head of Sales and responsible for helping charities and corporates maximise their fundraising at events and online. Prior to this, he was also Business Development Manager at Givergy. Maclean’s focus at Currensea will be centred around the development and expansion of the fintech’s ‘powered by’ offering which launched in 2021 and allows charities to issue branded cards to their supporters so they can roundup UK spending to the nearest 5p or convert savings made on overseas spending into charity donations.