The Family Holiday Association charity has announced the appointment of Martin Realey as their new Chief Executive. Martin joins with extensive experience in the charity and health sectors following on from a distinguished career as a British army officer.
In recent years, Martin spent 3 years as CEO of Restore – a mental health charity providing employment coaching and training opportunities to adults suffering from severe illness. More recently, driven by a desire to work with children, he led Build Africa, building schools and delivering education programmes in sub-Saharan rural Africa.
Martin’s commitment to charity is inspired by life experiences, including the loss of a sister to cancer in the late 90s and witnessing a lack of support for injured servicemen and their families. He is fuelled by a passion to address inequalities and opportunities for children. His own two primary school-aged children and his experiences with many local communities are his inspiration to be at the forefront of the Family Holiday Association’s pivotal work.
Commenting on his new role, Martin said:
“I am delighted to have joined an organisation that does such important work with struggling families. This is an exciting time for the charity as we aim to deliver our goal of doubling the number of families we help every year by the end of 2020. I am very much looking forward to working with the dedicated charity team and industry colleagues as we work towards our goals together.”
During 15 years of military service, Martin was deployed on numerous overseas operations, predominantly in Afghanistan and Iraq. He worked alongside major International Non-Government Organisations to deliver long-term projects including the Alternative Livelihoods Scheme and the Afghanistan Education Infrastructure Development Programme. As a liaison officer to the International Red Cross, Martin worked tirelessly to reunite children with their families post-conflict. During his service, Martin maintained strong connections with Macmillan Cancer Support and The Afghanistan Trust.
He replaced long-standing CEO John McDonald who retired at the end of 2018 after 17 years at the charity.