Turn2us strengthens leadership with the appointment of a new Chair of Trustees




National poverty charity Turn2us has  strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of a new Chair of Trustees, as the cost-of-living crisis pushes more people than ever into financial insecurity and the need for its work soars.

Carrie Stokes takes over the helm of the charity’s board from Sally O’Sullivan, who steps down after 12 years as a trustee, the last five of which were as Chair of Trustees.

This critical new appointment comes as Turn2us marks its 125th year of tackling poverty and supporting people facing financial insecurity. As the charity recognises the legacy left by its founder, Elizabeth Finn, it will embark upon a period of significant importance as it seeks to work with others to create systemic change for the 14.5 million of us in the UK who are living in poverty, while continuing to reach the most vulnerable among us through offering practical support including grants and information.

Speaking about her appointment, Carrie says: “With more than one in five of us living in poverty, Turn2us’s work in tackling financial insecurity and helping people get the support they need is ever more important. It’s a great privilege to be appointed chair at a time when the needs of those we serve are so very pressing. I am honoured to succeed Sally O’Sullivan and look forward to working with the board and executive team in the months and years to come.”

Thomas Lawson, Chief Executive at Turn2us, concludes: “I am very excited about the collaborative work Carrie and the charity will build to help lead the board and the staff team as we move into a new chapter and the development of our new five-year strategy. To have someone with Carrie’s experience, generosity and wisdom as our next chair is fantastic.

“I know I speak on behalf of my whole staff team and our Board or Trustees, when I thank Sally for her tireless commitment to Turn2us and those for whom it exists.  She has steered the charity through a significant amount of transformational change over the last 12 years; and especially since her appointment as chair in 2017. Of note is the tremendous leadership Sally has demonstrated during the recent and incredibly challenging couple of years of the pandemic and the demonstrable impact this has had on people’s lives.” 

As well as joining as Chair of Trustees for Turn2us, Carrie’s role will be instrumental in leading the whole charitable group as she also joins as a Non-Executive Director of Elizabeth Finn Homes, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Turn2us.

Sally O’Sullivan, outgoing Chair, concludes: “I am incredibly proud to have served the charity and the many millions of people we support each year and am reassured and delighted to pass on the reins to the very capable and experienced hands of my successor. This is a very critical time for the charity as it continues to respond to the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and makes sure its strategy is fit for purpose for the future.  I know she will do a tremendous job in guiding the charity and its board and supporting and challenging our chief executive and leadership team through this and I wish her all the best in the role.”

Sally O’Sullivan joined the Turn2us Board of Trustees in March 2010, became Deputy Chair in 2013, and became Chair in 2017. As part of her role, and as the scale of the pandemic unfolded, Sally leapt into crisis response; recognising that the charity needed to urgently provide people with a desperately needed lifeline in the form of one-off grants and an expansion of information and helpline services. Thanks to her quick work, Sally was able to help establish an emergency fundraising appeal with The Telegraph. In just three months, between The Telegraph and other charitable income generated via the appeal, over £1.8 million was raised to support families and people facing the impact of a financial storm.

Her successor, Carrie, brings decades of experience to the role, having been an independent executive facilitator and brand and communications consultant over 25 years in the retail, finance, professional services, education and transport and leisure sector. Passionate about addressing the foundational issues that impact people’s potential to grow and succeed, Carrie has also worked on a pro bono basis during the majority of her career with different charities that focus on financial exclusion, youth issues, adult literacy and food insecurity.