Where Now for the Sector?
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Where Now for the Sector?

What is the role of the sector in the recovery – e.g. in terms of promoting greater social cohesion?

Should the sector be looking at consolidation/mergers/greater collaboration?

How do we balance servicing increased demand v. ensuring short/medium term financial sustainability?

These are just some of the questions addressed during the panel discussion at the ACO Conference this week.


Rachael Maskell MP (Shadow Minister for the Voluntary Sector and Charities)

Rachael Maskell was elected as the Member of Parliament for York Central in 2015.

Prior to being elected, as a National Officer for UNITE Rachael led the union’s equality agenda, campaigning against discrimination and for equal pay. She then spent seven years representing the charity sector on improving voluntary organisations and the opportunities for those that work in the sector.

Rachael has served as a Shadow Defence Minister and as the Shadow Rail Minister; also serving in the Shadow Cabinet as the Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment and as the Secretary of State for Employment Rights.

Debra Allcock-Tyler (Chief Executive – Directory of Social Change)

Debra has worked in the charitable and voluntary sector for over 30 years. Amongst numerous other roles, she is Vice President of the Soldiering On Through Life Trust Awards and co-chairs the judging panel with the General Lord Dannatt.

She is a Trustee of In Kind Direct, one of the Prince's Foundation Charities, and a trustee of the Berkshire Community Foundation. She is also an Africa Advocacy Foundation Ambassador for women and girls at risk of or affected by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

She has served as a trustee of several charities including being the co-founder of the Small Charities Coalition and was its first Chair. She served on the Charity Commission's SORP committee for over 7 years and was the Vice-Chair of Governors of Whiteknights primary school for 6 years.

Simon Gillespie (former Chief Executive - British Heart Foundation)

Simon is a strategic advisor, non-executive chair and board member with extensive international and national experience. He is currently a specialist advisor on noncommunicable diseases to the World Health Organisation, a Strategic Advisor to Microsoft UK and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Strategy, Resilience and Strategy at UCL.

A former Chief Executive of British Heart Foundation, Simon was awarded an OBE in June 2019 for “services to patients and to medical research”.

Joe Howes (Chief Executive - Buttle UK)

Joseph has years of fundraising experience and a passion for supporting children, young people and their families in the UK to build better futures. Joseph joined Buttle UK from youth homelessness charity Depaul UK, where he spent five years as Executive Director of Fundraising, Development and Communications.
Previously, Joseph has held senior roles at Action for Children and The Prince’s Trust. He is also Vice-Chair of the Board of Trustees at Rainforest Foundation, which gives him the chance to support another cause that has always been close to his heart.