Roger Harding has been appointed the new Chief Executive of RECLAIM, the Manchester based working class leadership charity announced today.
The former Director of Campaigns and Communications at housing charity Shelter, Roger Harding was previously responsible for helping put the country’s lack of affordable homes back on the national agenda.
Most recently, Roger has been running his own strategy consultancy across the charity sector; he is Head of Public Attitudes at NatCen Social Research and a board member for Victim Support. Roger said: “I was raised by a single mum in a council home and together with my younger sister we spent our evenings doing local paper rounds to get by.”
“Growing up skint or struggling stays with you for life and I’m delighted that working class young people now have a brilliant charity like RECLAIM to support them with excellent programmes and give them a platform to ensure their voice is heard.”
Growing up Roger was himself the beneficiary of a charity programme to help children from low income backgrounds get into traditionally elite careers and universities.
“I know from personal experience the impact an organisation like RECLAIM can have on the life of a young person. Helping more working class kids get the opportunities they deserve will be my way of saying thank you for the hard work my mum, teachers and others invested in me. With a brilliant new senior leadership in place I’m really looking forward to working with inspiring young people to ensure their talents thrive in a country crying out for new and diverse perspectives.”
The charity has also today announced the appointment of Becky Bainbridge as RECLAIM’s new Director of Programmes and the promotion of Chris Clarke to Director of Business Development. Becky joins RECLAIM from Ambition School Leadership where she is Associate Director.
“RECLAIM went through an intensive recruitment process throughout the month of August”. Gwen Ventris, Chair of RECLAIM Trustees, said: “The calibre of candidates was extremely high and we were delighted to appoint Roger as CEO to lead RECLAIM into the next phase of its very important work”.
“For the Board of Trustees Roger stood out as a strong leader with an exciting vision for the future informed by his senior, national experience and rooted in his deep personal connection to our vision and values. The Board of Trustees look forward to working with him and the rest of the RECLAIM Team to create more space for working class young people to be seen, heard and to lead change.”
“I want to thank Cheryl Latham for the incredible work she has done as CEO transitioning RECLAIM following the departure of its founder earlier this year; creating a firm foundation for RECLAIM to take its important work with young people forward ensuring RECLAIM is ready to develop to the next level of growth.”
RECLAIM’s previous CEO and founder Ruth Ibegbuna left the organisation in April 2018. Roger Harding is due to join RECLAIM in mid-November; until then the organisation will continue to be led and managed by interim CEO Cheryl Latham.