We are delighted to announce our new CEO, Vanessa Longley 

We are excited to announce that Vanessa Longley is joining our team as the new Chief Executive in mid-October, taking over from interim CEO Matt Plen. Vanessa is currently the Director of Development at YoungMinds and brings a wealth of senior leadership experience, having worked for over 25 years in healthcare charities including Havens Hospices.  

As both a Director and interim co-CEO, Vanessa led a team focused on the growth and transformation at YoungMinds – delivering millions of pounds of new funding into the mental health sector to tackle the crisis in young people’s mental health. 

Vanessa is passionate about amplifying the voices of young people and putting their experiences at the heart of everything from advocacy and services to fundraising and communications. She is also a qualified bereavement counsellor and a Trustee for SignHealth

She said: “I am thrilled to join Chance UK as CEO to continue their remarkable work supporting children managing trauma. The crisis we see in young people’s mental health is so often rooted in these childhood traumas, and my time working with YoungMinds has reinforced my belief in the transformative power of early support.  

The impact Chance UK has shown through their mentoring and support programmes proves that we can make a difference for children now, and this positive impact can last a lifetime. I’m excited to work with the team at Chance UK so every child in the UK can feel confident in their potential and equipped for a brighter future.” 

Sarah Parker, our Chair of Trustees, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Vanessa as the new Chief Executive of Chance UK, as we look to grow and have an even bigger impact on the lives of children and families across the UK.  

Vanessa’s experience of working with young people and advocating for change in the mental health sector coupled with her extensive senior leadership skills will be hugely valuable, especially as we are seeing an increasing need for support for vulnerable children and families. Under her leadership Chance UK will continue to evolve and flourish – bringing about real change for children and young people.” 

Vanessa is wearing a white top and red jacket, she's smiling at the camera with green foliage behind her

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