Charity CEO steps down to get ‘a different balance of work in my life’

Young Minds chief executive Emma Thomas is stepping down “after the demands of the last few years” to take time off and find a “different balance of work in my life”.

She is to leave the young people’s mental health charity in the autumn having joined in July 2018 and overseeing a doubling of its staff and income from £4m to £9.2m. She also led the charity during the Covid pandemic, which has increased the prevalence of mental health issues among young people.

“After the demands of the last few years, I want to take some time off and create a new phase in my career with a different balance of work in my life,” said Thomas.

“This has been a really hard decision for me to make as I have loved my time here and it has been an immense privilege to lead such crucial work.”

Her time at the charity has also seen the development of the charity’s five year You Matter strategy, which has included a focus on support for parents and practitioners.

She added: “After a lot of careful consideration, and an incredible four years, I have decided that it is the right time for fresh leadership at YoungMinds to lead the next phase of the charity’s growth.

“I’m proud of the work I’ve been part of during my time here and to be leaving the organisation in a strong position with a brilliant Board and Senior Leadership Team and wider team of staff, as well as a hugely engaged group of young people and volunteers, to continue to increase our impact for young people, when it has never been more needed.

The charity is now looking for a replacement for Thomas in the £100,000 to £110,000 a year role, with applications closing on 15 July.

Young Minds chair Caroline Hope said: “It is hard to imagine YoungMinds without Emma and on behalf of the whole Board I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything she has done for young people through our charity.

“Emma has led the significant development of the organisation and has been ceaselessly passionate about ensuring young people get the support they need. She has been relentless in her commitment to involving young people in everything we do, which has transformed the way we run and govern our charity.

“The impact of her leadership has been profound and leaves YoungMinds in a very strong position as we begin our search for a new chief executive.

“We are excited that with a new and more diverse board, an ambitious new anti-racism, diversity and inclusion plan, healthy finances and a critical mission, we will attract strong, diverse candidates.

“Alongside my team of trustees and directors I will now be working closely with Emma on a smooth transition to new leadership, to take us to the pivotal next stage of YoungMinds’ journey.

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