National Emergencies Trust appoints new Chair and President

UK disaster response charity, the National Emergencies Trust, has announced the appointment of a new Chair, John Barradell, as General The Lord Richard Dannatt, the charity’s current Chair, steps into the newly formed role of Founding President.

A current Trustee, former City of London Town Clerk, and CEO and Deputy Chair of the London Resilience Forum, John Barradell has been actively involved in resilience-building and emergency response within London and across the UK for many years. He led the Grenfell Recovery Taskforce set up by Government in 2017 after the tragic fire at the Tower, which was one of a series of UK disasters in that year that led to the formation of the National Emergencies Trust.

General The Lord Richard Dannatt, the charity’s founding Chair and former Head of the British Army, will continue to contribute to the Trust’s development in the role of Founding President. Lord Dannatt led the formation of the charity in 2019, and shortly afterwards oversaw its first emergency appeal, the Coronavirus Appeal, which launched in March 2020 and raised £100 million for those affected by the pandemic.

Lord Dannatt said: “The National Emergencies Trust has covered considerable ground in its three-year history, from establishing a nationwide funding network to putting that network through its paces – and at high speed – during the Coronavirus Appeal. I am delighted that John Barradell will be taking the Trust into its next chapter. His unique emergency experience and strong survivor focus made him an asset during our first appeal and stands the charity in strong stead as we prepare for the next one.

Mr Barradell said: “After the Grenfell Tower fire and the terror attacks of 2017, the Charity Commission set out a vision for a fairer, faster way to coordinate funds. The National Emergencies Trust was launched in response – and has already proved the model works. The task now is to build on learnings from our first appeal to strengthen our future response. For example, we’ll be launching an Appeal Partners programme that invites member organisations to raise vital awareness and funds alongside us. We must also keep tackling the issues history tells us will likely arise again, such as gaps in care for children, and equitable support for all UK communities.”

Further changes to the governance of the National Emergencies Trust include the departure of Trustee and Chair of the Trust’s Communications Committee, Gordon Tempest-Hay at the end of his three-year tenure, and the appointment of two new Trustees, Ralph Throp and Jonathan Clark.

Ralph Throp leads the Resilient Communities Team at Scottish Government, which is responsible for developing the Scottish Government’s approach to strengthening the capacity of communities to cope with emergencies. He is an experienced resilience officer, who has worked on the government response to many domestic and international emergencies.

Jonathan Clark is currently an advisor to a US based NGO where he has contributed to setting up operations to ensure that payments for damage and injury are dealt with in a timely and auditable manner. He was recently interim CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute and formerly director of Claims at the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Lord Dannatt said: “We owe sincere thanks to Gordon whose commitment to the fast-moving communications effort during the Coronavirus Appeal made a significant contribution to its success, but we look forward to benefiting from Ralph and Jonathan’s diverse experience in emergency response.”

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