We are pleased to announce the appointment of Sarah Parker as our new Chair of Trustees following on from Hugh Thornbery CBE, who has stepped down after eight years in the role.
Sarah brings a wealth of senior leadership experience, and until recently was the Interim Director of Children, Families and Safer Communities at Bristol City Council. Throughout her thirty year career, Sarah has championed the voices of children and families, taking on senior management roles in children’s services at city and county councils across the country. Prior to her interim role at Bristol, Sarah was the Director of Children and Family Services at Stoke on Trent City Council. Sarah is experienced at working closely with the Department for Education and commissioners to achieve improvements in children’s social care journeys, with a particular focus on SEND.
In her personal life, Sarah is a foster carer and has held a variety of voluntary roles, including as a school governor and a trustee at her local junior school. Sarah is passionate about sustainability and set-up a garden share scheme in her home town of Cheltenham. As a keen runner she will be competing in the London Marathon this April to raise funds for Save the Children.
Sarah says, “It’s an exciting time to be joining Chance UK as it looks to grow and have an even bigger impact on the lives of children and families across the UK. Throughout my career I have seen how much a child’s environment can affect their life chances and behaviour which is why the early intervention Chance UK provides is crucial, especially for children who have experienced trauma.
I’m hugely impressed by the way Chance UK listens to children and families and puts their voices and experiences at the heart of everything it does. I’m looking forward to working with the team as it begins the next stage of its journey, especially as we address the challenge of the impact of the pandemic on children’s mental health.”
Naturally, we are delighted to be welcoming Sarah as our new Chair of Trustees, as well as saying a big thank you to Hugh for his incredible work over the last eight years. Sarah’s appointment brings extensive senior leadership and experience of children’s services at a time when Chance UK is seeing an increasing need for support, especially for vulnerable children and families. As the full impact of the pandemic, especially on our children’s mental health, is still being understood, we have never felt better prepared and energised to face the challenges ahead. We are determined to support more children to realise their potential and thrive in a changing world.