Baroness Pitkeathley preferred candidate for presidency of umbrella body

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The appointment of the Labour peer is expected to be approved at the NCVO general meeting on 20 November

The Labour peer Baroness Pitkeathley is set to be the next president of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Pitkeathley, who has worked in the voluntary sector for more than 40 years and recently chaired the House Of Lords Select Committee on Charities, has been announced as the NCVO’s preferred candidate to replace Lady Grey-Thompson, who has served five years in the position.

Pitkeathley’s appointment is expected to be approved by NCVO members at its annual general meeting on 20 November.

The umbrella body also announced that Sally Young, chief executive of Newcastle Council for Voluntary Service, has been appointed as vice-chair, replacing Matt Hyde, chief executive of the Scout Association.

Pitkeathley, who is also chair of the Big Society Trust, which oversees the social investors Big Society Capital and Access – the Foundation for Social Investment, said she had been closely involved with the NCVO for many years and had always been a great admirer of its work.

“If my appointment is approved by the membership, it will be a particular pleasure to hold this important office during the centenary anniversary celebrations in 2019,” she said.

Peter Kellner, chair of the NCVO, said: “Jill’s decades of professional experience, initially as a social worker and then in the public and voluntary sectors, make her the ideal candidate for the role. She has always been clear about her dedication to civil society.

“As chairman of the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, she has worked with peers from all political parties to challenge both the voluntary sector and the government to ensure that the sector plays a greater and more effective role in British society.

“She will prove a crucial champion during an era of uncertainty and the continuing squeeze on public services, when demand for those services is certain to grow.”

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