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Tanni Grey-Thompson announced as prime candidate for next President of NCVO

Celebrated paralympian and inspirational campaigner, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE has been announced as the board’s choice for the next President of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO).

Baroness Grey-Thompson is Britain's greatest Paralympic athlete, winning eleven gold medals over five Paralympic Games, and now sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer with specialist interest in sport, disability, health and youth development.

Since retiring from athletics, Baroness Grey-Thompson has been active in speaking out on issues including benefit reform and accessible transport. During heated debates in the House of Lords, she has been instrumental in moving several amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill, making insightful contributions and pushing the Government to make concessions.

Baroness Grey-Thompson has a longstanding association with NCVO and the wider voluntary sector, and was appointed as the President of the Leadership 20:20 Commission for developing emerging leaders in civil society, in 2011. She is patron of numerous charities including Sportsleaders UK and is a trustee of V, the charity that helps young people become volunteers. As well as this she is the Patron of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and is a board member of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation.

Baroness Grey-Thompson is the NCVO board’s preferred candidate to succeed current President, Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbotts CBE. Members will be invited to appoint her at NCVO’s AGM on 8 November 2012.

She said:

"I am absolutely delighted to be appointed as President of NCVO. From my background in sport I am well aware of the importance of the voluntary sector; many grassroots sports groups would not survive without volunteers, and as we have seen with the magnificent Gamesmakers, large events flourish with well-developed volunteering. I am hoping to expand my knowledge of the sector, and continue the work that NCVO has been so successful in by encouraging communities and people to engage fully in our society."

NCVO’s Chair, Martyn Lewis CBE, said:

"‘I am absolutely delighted that in this Olympic year, NCVO’s board has chosen Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as the next President of NCVO. These Olympics and Paralympics have celebrated volunteers more than ever before and have given new impetus and inspiration to the entire volunteering community across the UK. Tanni has played a really great part in that.

"As well as being a redoubtable campaigner, Tanni is already an old friend of NCVO who has inspired emerging leaders as chair of the Leadership 20:20 Commission and hundreds of others as a speaker at our events.

"Lord Hodgson is a hard act to follow – he made a massive contribution to the law and regulation around charities. I am sure that with Tanni we have chosen a worthy successor who will spread her own gold dust on our 8,500 members and we are all looking forward to working with her."

Lord Hodgson said:

"I have very much enjoyed my five years as President of NCVO. I saw at first-hand what a fine organisation it is and I wish it continuing success in the future."

For more information and hi-res images, contact Clarinda Cuppage in NCVO’s press office on 020 7520 2469 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For calls outside office hours, please ring 07507 558 597.

Notes to editors

NCVO champions and strengthens the voluntary sector, with 8,500 members, from the largest charities to the smallest community organisations. Alongside our sister councils in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, we make sure the voluntary sector can do what it does best.

One of Britain’s most recognisable paralympic athletes, Tanni Grey-Thompson crowned a magnificent career with two gold medals in the 100 and 400 metres in the 2004 Athens Paralympics. It took her remarkable medal haul over 16 years and five Paralympic Games to eleven gold, four silver and a bronze, Tanni also won the London Wheelchair Marathon six times between 1992 and 2002.

Now retired, Tanni still plays and active role in administration of sport. She is the Vice-President of the Women's Sports Foundation, a member of the board of the London Marathon and in 2008 became a member of the board of Transport for London. In 2005 she received a Damehood for her services to sport and in 2010 she entered the House of Lords as a crossbench peer, taking the title, Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe in the County of Durham. She regularly contributes to the blog site Lords of the Blog.

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