People Against Poverty appoints new charity CEO to further expand its vital work

By Nick Batten on 11 November, 2022

Wiltshire-based humanitarian charity People against Poverty has announced the appointment of Belinda Wadsworth to Chief Executive Officer, as the organisation looks to grow its operations to help more people who are experiencing poverty in the UK and abroad.

Belinda takes over in the role from Val Huxley who announced she would be stepping down earlier this year.

She brings extensive third-sector expertise gained through leadership roles in a variety of national and international charities over the last 25-plus years including Age UK and Arthritis Research UK, as well as global charities operating in the fields of disaster relief and recovery, refugee support and livelihood development. 

Belinda also brings to People Against Poverty her experience and passion for working collaboratively with those experiencing poverty, disadvantage and discrimination in order to facilitate transformational change in the lives of individuals and communities.

She said, “It is a tremendous privilege to be taking on the baton of leadership for People against Poverty for a new season, building on the amazing work and foundations that have already been developed. I greatly look forward to working with our small but dynamic team, and connecting with the growing movement of engaged, purpose-led businesses and individuals who see our charity as an effective way to invest in real social change. At this incredibly challenging time for those living in poverty both in the UK and overseas, there is so much we can achieve together.”  

In addition to Belinda’s appointment, James Baker has also been appointed as the charity’s new Director of Development. With extensive fundraising and business growth experience gained from senior roles in the charity sector which he brings to this newly-created role, James will work closely alongside Belinda, People against Poverty’s Trustees and its Mission Director to strategically grow the charity’s supporters and income streams, including further developing the Business against Poverty philanthropic community.

The two new strategic appointments come as Val Huxley, who has served as the charity’s CEO since taking over the organisation alongside husband Bill in 2007, transitions to the role of Mission Director. Still actively involved in the charity’s strategic goals, Val will be chiefly responsible for overseeing the charity’s partnerships and project work with mission partners in all seven international countries of operation: Romania, Nepal, Haiti, Malawi, India, Tanzania and directly supporting impoverished families in the UK. 

Val said, “I am delighted to be working alongside Belinda and James, who I know will bring further energy into what our charity is already actively delivering. They both have demonstrated great experience, commitment and passion for the plight of others, which can only benefit the people that we support in our countries of operation. As I prepare for semi-retirement, I feel totally confident in handing over the charity operations to Belinda and James, knowing that what’s been built up over the last 15 years is now in great hands to further develop and grow.”

Paul Van Haver, Chair of Trustees for People against Poverty, added, “After 15-plus years of dedicated and inspiring work, building People against Poverty into what it is today, we are delighted that Val is not leaving us but rather handing over the CEO role to Belinda while continuing to serve as the charity’s Mission Director, alongside James as Development Director.”

People against Poverty will remain committed to its mission-led values going forward, with the aim of thousands more lives being touched and changed for the better over the years to come. 

Pictured above: (left to right) People against Poverty’s Belinda Wadsworth, CEO; Val Huxley, Mission Director; Bill Huxley, Trustee; James Baker, Director of Development