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The Cares Family charity appoints new CEO

Please note: this post is 14 months old and The Cares Family is no longer operational. This post is shared for information only

Last year we announced that our Founder, Alex Smith, was stepping down as CEO of The Cares Family after 12 years. Now, after a rigorous recruitment process, we are delighted to share the news that our board of trustees has successfully appointed a new CEO.

Nicola Upton will join us as CEO from early August. Nicola will bring two decades of experience in leading and nurturing people and organisations. Having started her career as a community support worker, Nicola has latterly been Deputy Director for Families at the National Deaf Children’s Society, Director of Major Partnerships at Stonewall, and for the last six years CEO of Age UK Sutton.

Along with her wealth of relevant knowledge, experience and expertise, Nicola also brings a real passion for our work. She shares our vision of more socially connected communities in which people feel less lonely, more united and that they belong. We know that she can’t wait to get started and build on the strong foundations that Alex has built.

Nicola will join us at an important moment. Our society is experiencing a crisis of social disconnection which is leading to rising loneliness and isolation, dislocation and division. She will play a pivotal role in helping us deliver our updated strategy which is shaped by a belief in the transformative power of human relationships.

12 years on from our beginnings

The Cares Family began with a single friendship. Over the past twelve years that friendship has grown into a national movement of some 30,000 older and younger people sharing time, laughter and new experiences. We would like to express our huge gratitude to Alex for his leadership over the past twelve years and for all his work to help build the community we are privileged to be a part of. Alex will always be a part of The Cares Family and we wish him all the very best in his new position as Senior Advisor at the Obama Foundation.

Nicola Upton, incoming CEO of The Cares Family said:

“Joining The Cares Family at this pivotal moment is a great privilege. As a charity we have achieved so much under the leadership of our founder, Alex Smith, and yet there is so much more to do.

At a time when social connection is harder to find for people of all ages, and broader pressures affect us all, our message and model of building resilient communities is more relevant than ever. I’m looking forward to taking The Cares Family on to do more, connect more people, and enable others around the country to do the same in their communities.”

Iana Vidal, Chair of The Cares Family said:

The board are delighted to welcome Nicola to The Cares Family. In a strong field of candidates, Nicola was the unanimous choice. Throughout the recruitment process she showed that speaks our language, understands the issues and the unique moment that The Cares Family is at. Our society is experiencing a crisis of social disconnection. The work The Cares Family does in bringing people together has never been more important.The board would also like to express its huge gratitude to Alex Smith for his 12 years of leadership and to wish him all the very best for the future.”