Campaigning peer Baroness Pitkeathley proposed as NCVO president

NCVO’s board has announced that it has proposed the Baroness Pitkeathley of Caversham OBE as its choice to become the membership organisation’s next president.

Lady (Jill) Pitkeathley has had a long career in public service and has worked in or with the voluntary sector for more than 40 years. She has been chief executive officer, chair and trustee of many charities.

Appointed to the Lords in 1997, where she sits on the Labour benches, she is a deputy speaker in the upper chamber and deputy chair of committees.

She is also chair of the Big Society Trust and a member of the Lords Committee on Citizenship and Civic Engagement. She chairs the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, which recently produced the report Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society.

Her appointment is expected to be ratified by members at NCVO’s Annual General Meeting on 20 November. If approved, she will succeed 11-time Paralympic Games gold medallist Baroness (Tanni) Grey-Thompson, whose five-year term as NCVO president is drawing to a close.

Lady Pitkeathley said:

I am honoured and delighted by my proposed appointment as president of NCVO. I have been closely involved with NCVO for many years and have always been a great admirer of its work. If my appointment is approved by the membership, it will be a particular pleasure to hold this important office during the centenary anniversary celebrations in 2019.

Lady Grey-Thompson, the outgoing president, said:

I have very much enjoyed my five years as president. NCVO is an excellent organisation and Jill has been a passionate advocate for the sector. I know Jill will continue to do great work with the team and I look forward to the future.

Peter Kellner, chair of NCVO’s board of trustees, said:

Jill’s decades of professional experience, initially as a social worker and then in the public and voluntary sectors, make her the ideal candidate for the role. She has always been clear about her dedication to civil society.

As chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, she has worked with peers from all political parties to challenge both the voluntary sector and the government to ensure that the sector plays a greater and more effective role in British society.

She will prove a crucial champion during an era of uncertainty and the continuing squeeze on public services, when demand for those services is certain to grow.

Tanni Grey-Thompson, our retiring president, has worked tirelessly on behalf of our 13,000 members during her five-year term and we thank her for her dedication. As NCVO’s relatively new chair, I found her enthusiasm, wisdom and experience invaluable.

NCVO’s board is also pleased to announce the appointment of trustee Sally Young, the chief executive of Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service (NCVS), as its vice-chair.

Sally, who has worked with, and for charities for the past 30 years, will succeed Matt Hyde, the chief executive of the Scout Association, who comes to the end of his second, three-year term as a trustee at NCVO’s Annual General Meeting on 20 November. She is particularly interested in the value of small charities and local community groups, the importance of infrastructure organisations and working to tackle inequality and poverty.

She will occupy the role for two years, as she is already in her second three-year term as a trustee.

Sally Young said:

I am delighted to be taking on the role of vice-chair at NCVO. I know I have a hard act to follow as Matt has been a fantastic vice-chair.

NCVO has also published its 2016-17 annual report and accounts today, which show that membership is up again, giving the organisation more than 20 years of uninterrupted membership growth.

We ended the financial year with 12,750 members, up 550 on the previous year. The figure has since exceeded 13,000. The retention rate is also notably high, at 93%.

Income from membership and trading activities both grew compared with the previous year and although income fell overall, this reflected the conclusion of several large, funded projects at the end of 20-15/16. As previously reported we had pre-empted this and restructured accordingly.

Our expenditure on these projects ended, meaning NCVO’s core financial position remains strong.

We spent slightly more than our income as part of an ongoing, planned programme of investment from our reserves, primarily in digital business systems to provide a better service to members. Reserves remain comfortably above their target level.

Susan Cordingley, Director of Planning and Resources at NCVO, said:

We are very grateful for our members’ continued support and take it as a mark of confidence in our work to support them and the sector.

I am pleased that we are in a strong financial position, as it means that we are able to continue to invest in our online and business systems, so that we are always enhancing the services that we provide to members.

-ENDS-

Notes

For more information and hi-res images, contact Stephanie Clark, NCVO senior external relations officer, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 020 7520 2460

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