NCVO appoints health charity expert as chair

The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has appointed NHS and health charity stalwart Dr Priya Singh as its next chair.

Dr Singh succeeds interim chair Anne Heal, who had taken over the role when journalist Peter Kellner’s term as chair ended in 2019.

Singh is executive director of benevolent fund and NCVO member, the Society for Assistance of Medical Families.

She is also a non-executive director of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, she is an associate with Working With Cancer, a social enterprise helping people with cancer to return to and remain in employment.

Dr Singh is set to take over as chair at the NCVO’s ADM on 23 November and will service a maximum of two, three year terms of office.

Among her priorities are to help support charities amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Recent months have brought into sharp focus the vital role that charities and volunteers play in society, doing whatever it takes during the pandemic to support the communities we serve,” said Dr Singh.

“We need to do all that we can to support them, amplifying voices and maximising impact. I look forward to bringing my experience in leading membership organisations, to give sharp focus to the things that NCVO can do to support its members and the wider sector.”

Heal added: “Priya brings a wealth of highly relevant experience – not only at board level but also from the perspective of running a small charity, supporting volunteering and delivering on a limited budget.

“This has been a challenging time for NCVO – and indeed the rest of the sector. However, I have been so proud of everyone at NCVO and their determination, resilience and commitment over the course of this year.”


Dr Singh also joins as the NCVO looks to improve its inclusion, diversity and equity. A review found that “we are a structurally racist organisation”, according to NCVO chief executive Karl Wilding.

The NCVO has created a board level diversity committee to address its “deep rooted cultural traits”.

This week the NCVO produced the second of its monthly updates on equity, diversity and inclusion in the charity sector.

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