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New chair of national youth charity OnSide Youth Zones

YOUTH charity OnSide Youth Zones has appointed tech entrepreneur Charles Mindenhall as Chair of its board of Trustees.

Since it was founded in 2008, OnSide has rapidly grown from its origins as a local youth charity in the North West of England into the national charity behind a growing network of Youth Zones – state of the art youth centres which provide thousands of young people in some of the country’s most deprived areas with invaluable support, activities and opportunities.

Charles has a wealth of senior leadership experience and a passion for good causes which support young people. His appointment builds on his work to champion the recent expansion of OnSide into London, and five years as a Trustee on the OnSide board.

Charles also provides senior leadership and support to a portfolio of organisations dedicated to creating positive social change. These include the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and MHI (Mental Health Innovations) where he holds Trustee positions. He was also, until recently, chair of the Charity Digital Trust.

His appointment comes at an important time of growth for OnSide as it prepares to launch a new strategy in 2021. The new strategy will set a bold and ambitious vision for the future, as it pursues its mission to build a network of Youth Zones that enable young people from all backgrounds to thrive.

OnSide works with a collaboration of local authorities, philanthropists and local businesses nationwide to bring Youth Zones to communities of need. This successful model has seen the charity raise £187m in funds to open 14 Youth Zones in 12 years. It has most recently launched a new Youth Zone in East Manchester and has this week announced that it will be working with Basildon Council and local philanthropists to open a Youth Zone in Basildon, Essex, its first in the county.

Charles takes over from Chairman and Founder Bill Holroyd CBE DL, who will be standing down on 2 December 2020, when Charles will officially take up the post.

Commenting on his appointment, Charles Mindenhall said: “It is a pleasure and privilege to be appointed Chair of OnSide Youth Zones. There has never been a more important time for the needs of young people in this country to be championed.

“I have seen first-hand the transformational impact of Youth Zones in London and believe that every young person from any background has the right to the very best support and opportunities.

“Youth Zones help young people thrive and tackle the challenges they face head-on. I look forward to working with my fellow Trustees, the management team, and our supporters and friends to help OnSide achieve these important ambitions for young people.”

Bill Holroyd, OnSide’s Founder and outgoing Chair remains on the board of Trustees for the charity. Commenting on Charles’s appointment he said: “OnSide has grown from the seed of an idea to a thriving network of Youth Zones nationwide. The most important job of a Chair is to hand over the baton to someone better than him or her at the right time.

“With Charles’s appointment, I would say ‘mission accomplished’! Charles has championed OnSide for many years and has been a driving force in our strategic planning as a Trustee.

“He is the perfect candidate to take OnSide towards its aim of giving every child in the country a safe and inspiring place to go in their leisure time where they can reach their potential.”

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