Youth charity founder and chief executive to step down after 15 years

Charity

The founder and chief executive of a youth futures charity will step down from her role in January after 15 years in post.

Amy Leonard launched The Talent Foundry in 2009. The charity works in partnership with schools and industry to develop the skills of young people and connect them with employers and higher education opportunities.

Sir David Bell, chair of trustees at The Talent Foundry, said the charity was “incredibly grateful” for Leonard’s contribution to the organisation.

He said: “Amy’s vision in setting up the charity to level the playing field of opportunity for young people was ahead of its time. Particularly now, as we look back at the tumultuous periods of the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis that have affected young people already facing significant barriers to employment the most.”

Leonard will continue to serve as a director of the communications agency Denford Associates and will join the Talent Foundry as a trustee in the new year.

She will be replaced by the charity’s deputy chief executive Jenni Anderson, who has served as acting chief executive since January.

Anderson is a former director of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, and previously held senior leadership positions at charities including Haven House Children’s Hospice and The Scout Association.

She was appointed deputy chief executive at The Talent Foundry in April 2022.

Bell said The Talent Foundry was “delighted” that Anderson would continue to lead the charity.

He said: “Jenni brings more than 20 years of charity leadership experience and we are excited about the future for the charity and its continued growth under her stewardship.”

Commenting on the appointment, Leonard said: “I am incredibly proud of what The Talent Foundry has achieved over the last 15 years – it’s been wonderful to see how the organisation has grown from the 250 schools we worked with in the early years to the thousands we work with today.

“I am so delighted that someone with Jenni’s passion and skill will be taking the Talent Foundry forward into its next chapter, and I have every confidence that it will continue to go from strength to strength and become a major player in effecting social mobility.”

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