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Director of Strategy and Engagement appointment

Following a search led by Prospectus, we are pleased to announce the appointment of Anita Kerwin-Nye as the Director of Strategy and Engagement at youth charity YHA.

YHA’s mission is to transform young people’s lives through travel and adventure. YHA has always been a trading charity that supports this mission by offering high quality affordable accommodation to all, but especially young people with challenging lives. But YHA is so much more: the 9th biggest national charity in the UK by its 170,000 strong membership.

Far too few people know that YHA is a charity, and the charity profile nationally and within the charity sector is low. The Board’s new focus provides the clarity needed to put YHA back on the map as a leading national charity for young people. The post of Director of Strategy and Engagement has been created to help achieve this important goal. The new Directorate brings together fundraising, marketing and communications, customer insight and membership, digital, volunteering and impact along with a newly created programmes, products and services department.  The successful candidate needed to bring significant leadership experience in one or more of these areas combined with strong commercial and political awareness. They would need to combine these skills with experience in the charity sector in the youth/education field.

The search garnered a high level of interest with over 200 people applying. The successful candidate was Anita Kerwin-Nye, an experienced and respected Charity Consultant, CEO and national leader in school/charity collaboration. Anita jointly leads the Every Child Should campaign, which ensures all children can access a rich and rounded set of experiences by the time they are 18.

Welcoming her to YHA, James Blake Chief Executive commented: “Anita will bring energy, insight and impetus to our work in a number of areas, including the development of our charitable focus, partnerships and programmes and strategic communications.

“Her knowledge of YHA through her work with the Learning Away consortium, means she is well placed to drive forward YHA’s ambition to be the leading youth charity, providing life enhancing travel and adventure to young people who need it most.”

Anita added: “I am delighted to join YHA at such a formative time in its 88-year history. The opportunity to play a key role in shaping YHA’s next fundraising steps to support more children and young people is one I very much welcome.

“I believe YHA can play a fundamental role in ensuring that all children born today have outdoor experiences at every stage of their childhood and the associated health, wellbeing and life skills benefits.”