Friday, 1 March 2024
Friday, 1 March 2024

Leading justice charity appoints Sian Williams as new CEO

Award-winning prison resettlement charity Switchback has appointed Sian Williams as its new CEO.

Williams will join Switchback in October following 13 years at Toynbee Hall, one of London’s most respected community organisations, where she is currently Director of Policy and Innovation.

At Toynbee Hall, Williams has driven the charity’s pioneering work on financial inclusion while leading its transformation towards co-design and co-production with local communities. Williams will take over from Switchback’s founder Alice Dawnay, who announced in May she would be stepping down after 15 years of leading the organisation which supports young men to build stable lives after prison.

The appointment comes after Switchback published new plans to expand its award-winning delivery programme in London, and grow its campaigning work by amplifying the voice and experience of Switchback Trainees. Nationally, half of the prison-leavers are back inside within a year, whereas 91% of young men supported by Switchback don’t re-offend.

Sian Williams, Switchback’s incoming CEO, said:

“Through Switchback's unique model of intensive 1-to-1 support, Alice has established one of the most impactful charities in the UK, helping hundreds of young men build totally different lives after prison. It’s an honour to have the opportunity to build on such an impressive legacy.

“With thousands of young men still leaving prison with minimal support and facing huge
barriers to change, the time is right to reshape the justice system.”

Duncan Shrubsole, Switchback’s Chair of Trustees, said:

“We’re delighted to appoint Sian as Switchback’s next CEO. Sian’s leadership, thoughtfulness and commitment to Switchback’s values impressed everyone she met, from trustees to the staff team and former Switchback Trainees.

“We’re all indebted to Switchback’s founder Alice Dawnay for her original vision and for
establishing Switchback as a leading justice charity. With Sian, we believe we have found the right person to both nurture and evolve that legacy.”

Sergio Gogoa, Switchback Experts by Experience Board member and Trustee Board Adviser, said:

“Sian immediately felt like the right choice for Switchback’s future. She understands where
Trainees are coming from, and she has the passion, willpower and values to guide
Switchback in the right direction.”

Alice Dawnay, Switchback’s Founder and outgoing CEO, said:

“I am so pleased that Sian will be leading Switchback into its next chapter. With a fresh
perspective and lots of rich experience to draw on, she has the curiosity, optimism and sense of adventure needed to take the organisation to new places. Critically, she’s absolutely committed to keeping Trainees at the heart of everything.”

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