Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive of St John Ambulance, has been appointed Chair of the Centre for Youth Impact.

The Centre for Youth Impact is a small London-based charity that works collaboratively with youth sector organisations across the UK. It exists to lead a step change towards more meaningful approaches to evaluation and impact assessment across the field of youth work and provision for young people. Martin will help the Centre to consolidate everything it has learned over its first five years and propel it towards a thriving future in which it helps organisations across the youth sector to get even better at what they do, by building their capacity to learn, listen and improve.

Our search encompassed senior individuals within the not-for-profit sector and beyond, including senior leaders in charities, think tanks and social research institutes. We focused on individuals who are engaged in the current landscape of impact assessment and evaluation and have practical experience of developing and growing an organisation to become high performing. As Chair, candidates needed to show their ability to build a  supportive and motivational relationship with the CEO of the Centre, as well as the skills to influence and inspire those working with and for young people, including front-line practitioners, policy makers, commissioners and the funding community.

Martin has previously held leadership roles at The Children’s Society, Missing People and Depaul UK, where he was CEO, as well as chairing the National Council of YMCAs in England and Wales. Martin has a long-term commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young adults and children, including in his current role at SJA where young people have been at the heart of its service for nearly a century. This makes him the perfect person to take over from Thomas Lawson, who stepped down in Mark 2019 to focus on his new role at Turn2us.

On his appointment, Martin said:

“It’s an incredible honour to be appointed as chair of the Centre for Youth Impact; a charity that’s close to my heart. I admire its approach of working with youth-focused organisations and involving young people in its development of a collaborative model for maximum impact. I hope my experience will stand me in good stead to help transform theories into practical solutions for young people, particularly those facing challenging situations."