Our Senior Leadership Team guides our organisation

Armed with the knowledge, experience and expertise of their fields, our directors have the vision and perspective to drive our organisation forward, stopping the vicious circle of fear and harm that destroys childhood and wrecks community living.

Senior Leadership Team members are:


Matthew Reed, Chief Executive

Matthew Reed

Matthew joined The Children’s Society as Chief Executive in May 2012.

Matthew is passionate about supporting people to thrive, flourish, and realize their full potential, overcoming whatever challenges hinder or arrest this, and leading organisations to deliver sustainable high impact through novel and leveraged solutions. 

He is leading The Children’s Society to focus on addressing the profound challenges faced by many young people, breaking the cycles of disadvantage that impede their flourishing, and unlocking their potential and life chances. Matthew believes that getting these wrong has a colossal detrimental impact on the young people concerned, their communities and our wider society; getting these things right and unlocking young people’s life chances offers enormous benefits to everyone.

To contribute in delivering this Matthew is leading The Children’s Society to make a unique contribution to these challenges by providing targeted direct support for young people, improving the national and local systemic policy deficits that diminish young people’s ability to thrive and tackling detrimental public attitudes that impede flourishing and stunt opportunity.

Prior to joining The Children's Society Matthew was Chief Executive of The Cystic Fibrosis Trust (medical research) and a Director at Christian Aid (international development). From 2015 to 2016 Matthew was the independent chair of the Birmingham Commission on Child Poverty and has been a mentor to graduates and third sector senior leaders for many years.

Matthew has a degree in Theology from the University of Oxford, a degree in Engineering and Management from the University of Nottingham, and a Masters in Management from the University of Surrey.

He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the RSA, and a Trustee of Children England. He lives in Marlow, Buckinghamshire.

Links: Read Matthew's media statements and Meeting Matthew Reed, a blog story by Aaron Thomas Rowles.



Peter Grigg, Director of External Affairs 

Peter Grigg

Career highlights: Peter joined The Children’s Society as Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research in September 2013 overseeing work such as the Debt Trap campaign, the Good Childhood Report and coalitions such as Stitch in Time with partner children's charities.

Before this he was Director of Policy, Research and Communications at the Family and Childcare Trust leading policy, public affairs, research and the development of strategy and brand identity of the new charity created from a merger between the Family and Parenting Institute (FPI) and the Daycare Trust. At FPI, work included leading a major year-long research project into the impact of austerity on families and leading the Family Strategic Partnership with the Department for Education and Barnardo’s.

Prior to this, Peter headed up the policy and research function for a campaign to inspire young entrepreneurs – where projects included innovative work with Google and Virgin Media and helping to create and evaluate Global Entrepreneurship Week, which spanned 104 countries. Previous roles included working in education policy, setting up an improvement body for further education and working as a researcher for Lord Gould, a political adviser. 

Peter lives in London with his wife and two young children and in his spare time volunteers to support a local community library and local school projects. 


Joe Jenkins, Director of Supporter Impact and Income

Joe Jenkins

Joe leads our Supporter Impact and Income teams, involving as many people as possible in helping us build a country where children are free from disadvantage.  This involves developing strong relationships with people, groups and organisations inspired by our vision.
Working in the charity sector for over 15 years, Joe has focussed his efforts on helping people to achieve as much impact as possible for the causes that inspire them.  He was previously Director of Engagement at Friends of the Earth overseeing their fundraising, communications and activism, as well as Acting CEO.  Prior to this, Joe worked with a wide range of different charities, including Royal National Institute of Blind People, NSPCC, British Red Cross, WWF and IFAW.
Across all the roles and causes in which Joe has been involved, there is one common thread: a heartfelt commitment to social justice, along with the belief that positive change is not only necessary and possible, but with enough people involved, inevitable.
Joe is a Trustee for Refugee Action, a board member of the Institute of Fundraising National Convention and an Advisory Panel Member of Rogare, The Fundraising Think Tank.  He lives in Hove with his wife, daughter and a small dog.


Liz Walker, Director of Finance and Corporate Services 

A portrait of Liz

Liz is a professional interim and comes to us with extensive experience within the accountancy profession and not for profit sector.

Most recently she was Executive Director of Resources and also Deputy CEO at Livability, which is a national Christian disability and community engagement charity.


Dara de Burca, Director of Children and Young People

Dara de Burca

Dara was appointed as Director of Children and Young People in January 2018.

Most recently, she was Director of Services at CLIC Sargent and before that worked as Head of Youth Support in Hackney and as Service Manager for young people in Hammersmith and Fulham. 

Dara has worked in and managed children’s homes and a young runaway refuge. She has been a teenage fostering and child protection social worker, and is also an adopter of two children.

Her significant experience has given Dara incredible insight into the barriers that young people face and she will continue to work across teams, regions and directorates to overcome these obstacles. Dara will continue to deliver excellent innovative and sustainable services that help change young people’s lives.