News & media

Here is a selection of our latest news and press releases. Please direct any press enquiries to Gracia McGrath OBE at

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

Woman of Influence

December 2016

Chance UK’s CEO, Gracia McGrath, was delighted to be named the Mayor’s Fund for London’s ‘Woman of Influence’. Here are some photos from the evening, with a link below to all the winners.



Chance UK’s 21st birthday party

May 2016

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It wouldn’t be a 21st birthday, without a 21st birthday party. And we celebrated in style. A huge thank you to our sponsors, Macquarie Group and Blackwood for hosting and sponsoring the event. We are delighted to have shared this monumental occasion with our supporters and want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has supported us over 21 years of early intervention work. Here’s to the next 21.

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Chance UK turns 21

May 2016

We are delighted to be celebrating our 21st birthday this month. We would like to thank all our mentors, past and present, for all your hard work. This wouldn’t be possible without you. And a massive thank you to all our children and families for letting us be part of your lives. Find us on twitter (@chanceuk), Facebook or LinkedIn and let us know your birthday wish for Chance UK.


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