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Martin Houghton-Brown appointed as our new Chair


St John Ambulance’s Chief Executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, has been appointed as Chair of the Centre for Youth Impact and begins his new role today (Thursday 6 June). Martin’s appointment reflects his long-term commitment and dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of young adults and children.


Martin has previously held leadership roles at The Children’s Society, Missing People and Depaul UK, where he was CEO, as well as the chairing the National Council of YMCAs in England and Wales.
His current work at St John Ambulance – a charity that has had young people at the heart of its service for nearly a century – has synergies with the Centre’s work to create a step-change in thinking and practice to improve outcomes for young people.
Martin will succeed Thomas Lawson, who had been in the position for 15 months, after he stepped down in March 2019 to focus on his new role as CEO of Turn2us.
Martin Houghton-Brown said: “It’s an incredible honour to be appointed as chair of the Centre for Youth Impact; a charity that’s close to my heart.
“I admire its approach of working with youth-focused organisations and involving young people in its development of a collaborative model for maximum impact. I hope my experience will stand me in good stead to help transform theories into practical solutions for young people, particularly those facing challenging situations.” 
Since joining St John in January 2018, Martin has been the driving force behind reviewing and expanding the charity’s youth offering, ensuring that it is reflective of societal needs.
St John Badgers and Cadets* learn important life skills, including first aid, and the charity wants to further empower children, teenagers and young adults to care for others in their communities, enjoy new experiences and reach their full potential. 
Similarly, the Centre’s vision is for all young people to have access to high-quality programmes and services that improve their life chances.
The organisation believes that meaningful impact measurement practice, embedded at the heart of strong and sustainable learning organisations, is key to creating better outcomes for young people.
Bethia McNeil, CEO of the Centre for Youth Impact, said: “I am so very pleased that the Centre will be able to benefit from Martin’s leadership, vision and energy. I’m really looking forward to working with Martin, and the rest of the trustee board, to take forward the work of the Centre and mark its fifth birthday later this year. 
“I also want to thank Tom Lawson, who chaired the Centre with such commitment and generosity, through its journey towards becoming a national charity. The whole team is excited for the future.”
Emma Revie, CEO of The Trussell Trust, has been the acting chair and treasurer of the Centre since Tom Lawson stepped down earlier this year.
“The Centre’s Board of Trustees is delighted to welcome Martin as its new Chair, and we look forward to working with him to reflect on all that’s been achieved so far, and to build on our exciting plan for the future” she said.