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3 new charity CEOs, & other sector movers

Melanie May | 20 March 2023 | News

Two women shaking hands in a white office

Help for Heroes, Two Ridings Community Foundation, and Toynbee Hall have all announced CEO appointments. More on these and other recent sector movers below.

Help for Heroes appoints James Needham as CEO

Help for Heroes’ new Chief Executive Officer is James Needham, who will head up the charity on a permanent basis after stepping in as interim CEO following the departure of Melanie Waters in October 2022. Needham is already a well-established member of the Help for Heroes family since joining the charity in 2018 as the Chief Operating Officer. He has been instrumental in the development of the charity’s 10-year strategy and brings a wealth of expertise and continuity having worked across most areas of the charity. He previously spent more than 15 years working in operations management within the hospitality sector for the likes of Greene King and Starbucks.


Why your supporters are wealthier than you think... Course by Catherine Miles. Background photo of two sides of a terraced street of houses.

Celia McKeon announced as new CEO of Two Ridings Community Foundation

Two Ridings in Yorkshire has appointed Celia McKeon as its new CEO. Previously the Chief Executive of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and with 25 years of expertise in the voluntary sector, locally, nationally and internationally, McKeon brings a wealth of experience in driving and supporting positive social change. As well as grant making, she has a background in conflict resolution and is a strong advocate for social justice and the power of community. McKeon takes over from Jan Garrill, who has grown the foundation over the last 9 years, distributing £13 million worth of grants.

Toynbee Hall appoints first permanent female Chief Executive 

Toynbee Hall has announced the appointment of Rebecca Sycamore as its new permanent Chief Executive, succeeding Interim Chief Executive Alex Botha. Sycamore is the organisation’s first permanent female Chief Executive since it was founded in 1884. She joins the organisation after a recruitment process last year and brings a wealth of experience in the not-for-profit sector. Sycamore previously Executive Director of Strategy and Development at St Mungo’s and has also held positions at Crisis and Homeless Link. 

New Directors for Home-Start UK

Home-Start UK has announced two new senior appointments, with two Assistant Directors of Fundraising who will provide strategic leadership and departmental management of all Home-Start UK fundraising activities. Sarah Jane Pickering has over 14 years’ experience in the charity sector, and leads the trusts, statutory and grant-making functions at Home-Start UK. She joined Home-Start UK in 2021 as Head of Trusts and Statutory Funding and has held fundraising roles across the sector including with Sands, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Citizens Advice in Derbyshire. Rachel Holborow joined Home-Start UK as Head of Corporate Partnerships in February 2021. With over 15 years’ experience in the charity sector, Holborow leads the Corporate Partnerships, Major Giving & Individual Giving functions at Home-Start UK, specialising in developing diverse, sustainable income strategy. Prior to this, she spent 10 years leading a team of Business Development Managers at Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Westminster Foundation appoints Family Action CEO to Board of Trustees

Family Action CEO David Holmes CBE is joining The Westminster Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Holmes is an award-winning Chief Executive who will bring over 30 years of experience spanning the private, public and voluntary sectors to the foundation. A former Senior Civil Servant in the Departments of Health and Education, he has a wealth of expertise in the provision of services for disadvantaged children and families, promoting opportunity in areas of deprivation. Holmes is also currently the Chair of Children England, the membership body representing all charities in England that work with children and young people.

Evelyn Partners appoints Caroline Jarvis Gee as Head of Charity Business Development

Integrated wealth management and professional services group Evelyn Partners has appointed Caroline Jarvis Gee as its new Head of Charity Business Development. Jarvis Gee comes with a background in charities that spans more than 20 years. She began her career as a charity fundraiser in the US and, following her MBA at Cass Business School (now Bayes), specialised in charities at EdenTree, James Hambro, Investec and Kleinwort Benson. She has a special interest in ESG and helping charities to align their investments with their values and is a trustee at the Association of Charitable Organisations. Jarvis Gee will be working directly with charities, helping them to understand and connect with solutions for their investment and income needs as well as working across the regions to augment Evelyn’s charity thought leadership programme.  She will be working alongside Keith Burdon who heads up Charities in Scotland and Northern Ireland and Geraldine Wright, Partner for Charities.

Cancer Research UK appoints new Trustees

Cancer Research UK has announced the appointments of Rakshit Kapoor and Hitesh Thakrar as Trustees and Members, from 1 March 2023. The charity has also announced the recent appointments of three new non-Trustee Committee members: Teye Mkushi, Jazz Thind and Janet Ryan. Rakshit Kapoor has held several data, digital and technology leadership roles throughout his career and currently works as Global Chief Data Officer for Chubb. His career has spanned roles at Santander UK, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, and a spell as NHS England’s Interim National Director of Data. Hitesh Thakrar is a partner at Syncona venture fund, sits on various boards including Alan Turing Institute, UKRI’s Science and Technology Facilities Council, KQ Labs – Crick Institute, and is Chair of the Health Innovation Network (Academic Health Science Network) for South London.

DEC appoints two new Trustees

Farmida Bi and Julian Douglas have joined the DEC’s Board of Trustees. Bi joins the board as new Vice Chair, whilst Douglas joins as a new Independent Trustee. The appointments come in a year when donations to three active DEC appeals – the Pakistan floods, Ukraine and the Turkey-Syria earthquake have reached over £580 million. Bi is a solicitor and Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, a global law firm, as well as Chair of Trustees for the Barbican Centre Trust and of the Patchwork Foundation. Douglas is the International CEO of global advertising agency VCCP, the President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) 2021-23, and the Chair of Black Representation in Marketing (BRiM). Over the past 20+ years he has many created award-winning campaigns for clients in the UK and around the world including Barnardo’s, Lynx, Levi’s, Audi, O2, Domino’s, Nationwide, White Claw and Man City FC.