Posted on May 24th 2024 by Millie Barrow

After over 7 years at the helm of The Childhood Trust, Laurence Guinness, our long-standing Chief Executive, will be leaving the organisation at the end of June to lead another children’s charity. At the same time, we are delighted to announce that Neha Mahendru, current chair of our Grants and Impact committee, will become the Childhood Trust’s Interim Chief Executive while we seek a permanent replacement to lead the charity, after celebrating our 10th anniversary last October.

Laurence is leaving The Childhood Trust after seven and half years during which he has driven the charity forward in its mission to alleviate child poverty in London providing a healthy, happy, and safe childhood for over 250,000 children annually through the Trust’s partnerships with over 160 charities working in the capital.

Since Laurence joined the organisation, the Trust has grown its charitable grant-making ten-fold, from £0.3m in 2015 to £2.95m in 2023, raising cumulatively £45m to date through the Trust’s bi-annual matched fundraising campaigns. The Trust has also experienced strong growth in its volunteering programmes, working with social work departments throughout London to renovate the bedrooms of vulnerable children.  Through direct engagement with children and young people, the Trust has raised awareness of the impact of poverty amplifying their voices in the media to advocate for change and to help attract the resources that children living in poverty need to flourish.

Laurence commented “It has been an honour to serve the children and young people of London during my time leading the Trust. I leave with mixed emotions, saying goodbye to valued colleagues at the Trust as well as our many wonderful charity partners who have helped to make the work of the Childhood Trust so impactful and I wish the organisation great success in the future. They are all true champions for children.”

As Interim Chief Executive Neha Mahendru will continue to drive forward the charity’s “Prepared for Life” strategy launched in 2023 focused on supporting children’s physical and mental health, home and community environments as well as their learning & work readiness.

Neha commented “Poverty in London is growing, particularly with the cost-of-living crisis, and its ill- effects are being felt by the most vulnerable – our children! As a board member of the Childhood Trust since early 2023, I have seen how the Childhood Trust, supported by our charity partners, and wide range of funders and volunteers is helping to increase the resilience, confidence and safety of young people in the capital.”

“It is a pleasure to be able to step in now as interim Chief Executive to support our growing team to improve the life chances of even more of London’s children in these most challenging of times”

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