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Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Leading CEO and campaigner to step down


Prioritised children's safety for the last 11 years

Sir Peter Wanless, chief executive of the NSPCC is stepping down after 11 years in the role.

Sir Peter called the role an “extraordinary privilege,” working with a huge number of talented and committed staff and volunteers over more than a decade.

He took the role in 2013 in the wake of the Jimmy Saville scandal, and since then has led efforts to keep children’s safety at the forefront of the public’s minds.

While Sir Peter will not be giving up work completely, he is open minded about what to do next and insists he will remain a lifelong supporter of the NSPCC and its work.

Recruitment for a successor will begin shortly, and Sir Peter has agreed with the board of trustees to remain in post throughout the summer and beyond, if necessary, in some capacity while this process takes place.

In a message to staff and volunteers, Sir Peter said: “As I love my job, choosing to take this step has not been easy but this does feel like the right moment to begin planning properly to pass the role on, into new hands. It has been an extraordinary privilege to occupy this role and work with so many talented and committed people over the years.

“While I’m not racing off anywhere, in due course I’m sure I will enjoy spending more time with my cricket club, my books, my record collection and my family, although I don’t plan to give up work completely and I will, of course, remain 100 per cent committed to the NSPCC – and Childline – through my words, my actions and my charitable giving!

“There are so many people to thank when it comes to reflecting back on my time here and there will be time over the coming months for that.

“Together we have made – and continue to make - a vital difference for so many babies, children and young people. I will be leaving full of positive memories and pride.”

NSPCC’s chair Neil Berkett added: “During his 11 years, Peter has led the NSPCC with wisdom, courage, humility, resilience and, above all else, integrity. He has focussed our efforts on listening to children and young people and then placing the NSPCC where and how they need us to be - today and tomorrow. He has worked tirelessly to reposition the organisation further up the prevention end of the spectrum. 

“He has been instrumental in ensuring the NSPCC works in true partnership with others; acting as the rallying point for children, inspiring and enabling everyone to play their part in ending child abuse and neglect. And he has always championed the experiences and the contribution of our people - our supporters, our volunteers and our staff; acknowledging and valuing their efforts and the positive, lasting impact they make for children and young people. 

“He will be missed by all and, as chair, personally and on behalf of the board, I would like to extend him my and our heartfelt gratitude and sincerest wishes for success and happiness in the next chapter of his life.”



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