Children in Distress UK is to relocate its head office to Yorkshire.


I am pleased to write today, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, about new developments at Children in Distress UK.

Following the appointment of Simon Errington as CEO earlier this year, in response to the Board’s strategic direction, Simon has conducted a full review of the structure and operations of Children in Distress UK and has made his recommendations, which I am pleased to advise the Board has approved. I take this opportunity to thank Simon for his hard work and professional leadership during the last few months.

As you all know, 2024 will be a milestone year – the charity’s 35th anniversary. Fundraising, growing the initiatives and activities as well as retail aspects of our shops, and increasing our community in England and Scotland sit at the heart of our strategy and business plan. There are visionary projects to deliver in Romania and ambitious targets to meet.

To meet these ambitions, the charity will be relocating its head office functions back to Yorkshire from November 2023, placing our operations at the heart of our charity community. Our CEO and financial function are based here, and we will be growing our team in the region, to provide administrative, fundraising and communication support for the head office. This shift will bring opportunities for new activities, events, and initiatives.

Our team in Scotland will focus on building its community focus through new projects, campaigns, and the potential for additional retail outlets and ecommerce initiatives.

I am pleased to advise that Lesleyann Connelly will lead the transformation of the charity hub in Scotland in the new role of Hub Manager, supported by Julian Dawydiak as a new Campaigns Assistant.

Our activities in London will continue to be supported by Hannah-Liisa Kirchin, our Partnerships and Projects Coordinator, whose role it is to organise events, campaigns, and drive sponsorship of activities in that region.

We will be recruiting for additional team members in Yorkshire including a Hub Manager for Yorkshire who will build the community focus in Yorkshire alongside the Shop Managers through new projects and campaigns as well as engaging with key support communities across England. To deliver the head office function in Yorkshire, a full time Administrator will also be added to the team.

It is with heavy heart that I report that after 8 years of invaluable service to the charity, Tina Connelly has decided to take this change in direction as an opportunity to explore new opportunities and will be leaving the charity on 3rd November with her last working day being the 2nd. We are very grateful to Tina for her hard work and dedication. We take this opportunity to wish her well in her new role, and I know that she will stay connected with many of you for many years to come.

I hope that our plan to bring the charity back to its original home, placing it in the heart of its largest community of supporters whilst continuing to grow the work already carried out in Scotland, the Southeast of England and London, this is an important first step to ensuring a commitment to the charity’s future sustainability and success.

My Board colleagues and I take this opportunity to thank you – our volunteers and donors for your incredible dedication and invaluable support of our wonderful little charity and look forward to seeing many of you at our Thanksgiving Service on Saturday 14th October at Christ Church, Great Ayton, Middlesbrough TS9 6AB. This will be a good opportunity to catch up and explore new ideas together.

With very best regards

Anne-Marie Martin
Chair, Children in Distress UK