News & media

Here is a selection of our latest news and press releases. Please direct any press enquiries to Geethika Jayatilaka at

Ava and Mandip feature in Arsenal match day programme

December 2017

We are delighted to share the story of Ava and her mentor Mandip. Their mentoring journey was featured in Arsenal’s match day programme on 2nd December. Chance UK is grateful to the Arsenal Gunners Fund for their continued support of our work. Click the link to read the article:

My Story – Arsenal Foundation – Dec 2017

Chance UK launches Christmas campaign #AllWeWantForChristmasIsYou

December 2017

From all at Chance UK, we would like to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy new year! To celebrate the achievements of our brilliant mentors and to spread some festive cheer we have launched our Christmas campaign #AllWeWantForChristmasIsYou. The start of the campaign kicked off with a launch event – see below for some fantastic photos. From mentor stories to the twelve days of Christmas (Chance UK style!) the campaign will be an opportunity for everyone here to reflect on an amazing 2017. We also hope it will be an opportunity for us to find new mentors who will give a child a chance in 2018, through mentoring.

To get involved and support #AllWeWantForChristmasIsYou check out our social media pages (facebook and twitter) for updates and please do share/retweet and like our posts. For more information or to attach our Christmas email signature to your email then please contact Amy Pearson

Merry Christmas and remember #AllWeWantForChristmasIsYou

Chance UK CEO, Geethika Jayatilaka

September 2017

We bid a fond farewell to our wonderful CEO of 16 years, Gracia McGrath OBE and are delighted to welcome new CEO, Geethika Jayatilaka. We had a great evening saying goodbye to Gracia and welcoming Geethika, with lots of our funders, supporters and staff past and present. Thank you to Islington Town Hall for hosting us. A great evening.


Chance UK appoints new chief executive

June 2017

Chance UK is delighted to announce the appointment of Geethika Jayatilaka as our new Chief Executive. Geethika will take up the role in September when our current CEO, Gracia McGrath OBE, retires.

Geethika comes to Chance UK with a wealth of leadership experience in the not for profit sector and in public service having worked for, amongst others Creativity, Culture and Education and 4Children. She has also been Chair of Governors at a London primary school and Cabinet Member for Children in the London Borough of Camden.

Hugh Thornbery CBE, Chance UK’s Chair of Trustees, said “we are delighted to appoint Geethika to the CEO role at Chance UK, she brings a wealth of leadership experience with a proven track record of influencing and growing service delivery and a long commitment through paid and voluntary public service to improving the lot of disadvantaged children, young people and their families.”

Geethika said “I’m enormously excited about leading Chance UK. The organisation has made a huge difference to the lives of many vulnerable children and been very successful in promoting the value of early intervention. I’m looking forward to building on these successes, to grow our reach so we can help more children and families and make the most of the opportunities ahead – not least the results of the Randomised Control Trial due out next year.”

Geethika is currently Director at Parent Gym where she has grown the reach of the organisation tenfold over the last five years.

Chance UK CEO, Gracia McGrath OBE, to retire

April 2017

On 1st September, after 16 years at the helm Gracia McGrath OBE, Chief Executive of Chance UK is to retire from her role.

Ms McGrath says “I would never have imagined that I would stay in the same role for such a long time but every day seeing the difference the Chance UK early intervention mentoring programme makes to our children inspires me and this has made it very hard to leave.”

Ms McGrath has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 30 years and was awarded an OBE in 2009 for her work with Chance UK. Over the years the work of Chance UK has been independently evaluated by, among others Goldsmith and Pro Bono Economics. The organisation is currently undergoing a Randomised Control Trial carried out by the Dartington Social Research Unit the only UK mentoring programme to be subject to this level of evaluation.

“My successor will inherit an incredible staff team, the most dedicated volunteer mentors and will have the privilege to work some of the most exciting children and their families.”

“However, there is still a lot of work to do” continues McGrath “promoting the need for early intervention is key to the Chief Executive role at Chance UK and although we now live in a world where most people understand the need to intervene early, sadly, we have had successive Governments that are all talk and no cash and we see the consequences of this short sightedness every day in the news.”

Hugh Thornbery CBE, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Chance UK, says “The Charity and the thousands of children who have benefited from its work have been enormously fortunate to have had the inspiring leadership of Gracia over so many years. She has positioned the charity nationally bringing political influence and great donor support, she has campaigned tirelessly for investment into early intervention and she has lived the values of the charity every day of the last 16 years.”

If you are interested in applying for the CEO role at Chance UK click here

Doing randomised controlled trials in the real world

January 2017

As you will know, Chance UK is currently undergoing a Randomised Controlled Trial. Dartington Social Research Unit, together with Realising Ambition partners, have written a very interesting and frank piece on the process of conducting real-world trials. The article seeks to highlight lessons for funders, researchers and intervention developers and providers.

Have a read and let us know what you think, via facebook or twitter.

Doing randomised controlled trials in the real world

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