Samaritans COO takes top role at education charity

Samaritans chief operating officer Gareth Germer is stepping down to become chief executive of education charity Chailey Heritage Foundation.

He will join the Sussex based charity, for children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities, in the autumn.

Germer has been COO at Samaritans since 2018 and previously spent three years at the charity as executive director of change and development. He has also worked for the NSPCC and Rethink.

He replaces Helen Hewitt, who is retiring after nine years leading Chailey Heritage Foundation, and is to relocate to Bristol.

“We have so much to thank Helen for,” said the Foundation’s chair Mark Creamer.

“She has been an amazing chief executive, introducing new services and facilities and always having the interests of the young people we care for at the forefront of everything she has achieved over the last nine years.”

Hewitt added: “It is exciting that there is a new face coming in to lead the charity.

“Nationally, we are at the beginning of a period of considerable change with significant reforms planned for special educational needs and disability (SEND) and in social care.

"It’s the right time for a new person to come to lead Chailey Heritage Foundation. I am
pleased to say that, as I hand over the baton to a new leader, the charity is in a good
place to meet these challenges and move forward."

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