Depaul UK, a homelessness charity founded to continue the work of St Vincent de Paul, has appointed its first Jewish chair of trustees.
Suzanne McCarthy, who has been the Government’s Immigration Services Commissioner since 2005, is a former chief executive of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and was also previously chief executive of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
She said this week she was honoured to take up her new post, which will be officially announced next week.
“Depaul is a magnificent charity in what it does, both internationally and in the UK,” said Ms McCarthy. “Its Vincentian values were what made me want to put an application forward – this is an organisation that’s been walking in the footsteps of the poor for hundreds of years. It takes tremendous strength from its Catholic heritage, and it tackles youth homelessness with great imagin
Among its recent fundraising initiatives was one in which volunteers queued for a new iPhone 6, and DePaul then auctioned off the places they had saved in the queue.
Depaul UK’s chief executive, Martin Houghton-Brown, said his charity had experienced a year of very strong growth in 2014, and that Ms McCarthy’s appointment would help continue this growth into next year and beyond.
“Suzanne brings a wealth of expertise to Depaul, as both an experienced chair and a successful CEO,” he said. “Her commitment to our Vincentian values was prominent during the selection process and stood out as a leading characteristic of her approach. To have someone on board who understands the work done on both sides of the table is incredibly important and will, I believe, greatly strengthen Depaul’s governance and leadership.”
Nationwide, Depaul UK provides and supports more than 125,000 “bednights” a year to homeless and vulnerable young people, and has helped more than 50,000 youngsters in the last 25 years. Among its successful projects is the Nightstop Scheme, which recruits homeowners to offer their spare room to a homeless young person.