1284 MD George Oliver becomes Chair of Charity Link

Amy Orton

Jun 20


min read

George Oliver with Charity Link SEO Sue McEniff and Clive Smith

George Oliver has been named the new Chair of Charity Link as the Leicester-based non-profit moves towards its 150th anniversary.

George will take over from Clive Smith, who has been associated with Charity Link for more than 20 years, including two lengthy spells as Chair.

Then known as Leicester Charity Organisation Society, Charity Link was founded in 1876 to help Leicester families in desperate need.

It has since expanded across Leicestershire, Rutland, and Northamptonshire, receiving more than £2m in income in 2022-23.

Charity Link works to improve wellbeing, dignity, and standards of living by providing essential items, such as school uniforms, beds, white goods, and - in emergencies - help with food and utilities.

It receives referrals from more than 250 charities and community organisations - unlocking small grants to fund help for people who need it, when they need it.

Its innovative way of working – unlocking funds from charitable trusts – makes donations work harder.

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Demand for charity services

George joined the Charity Link board of trustees in February 2019 while working as Editor of the Leicester Mercury.

He subsequently chaired its Trust Administration Sub-Committee, working with officers on new marketing approaches to expand the service.

Trust Administration now provides clerkship and charity management support to organisations including Birmingham University Students Union.

Its profits are returned to Charity Link to help achieve its charitable objectives.

“Firstly, I want to thank Clive, not just for his trust and support during my first five years as a trustee but also for his many years chairing the organisation,” said George.

“Secondly, thanks to fellow trustees and officers for their transformative work. The change has been significant. We are well into transformation into the modern, digitally-led delivery partner that our stakeholders expect and our clients need.

“The exciting thing is that there’s a lot more development in the pipeline - and that all of it is built on a solid foundation dating back to 1876.

“Demand for our services is as great as ever as we approach our 150th year, but Charity Link remains well-placed to continue delivering for our partners. 

“That is thanks to Clive for setting the direction of travel and I’m proud he and the Board have asked me to continue leading our essential work.

‘Service delivery and integrity’

George will chair Charity Link as it moves towards its 150th birthday in 2026.

And Clive, who will continue as a trustee, reflected on the organisation’s transformation over recent years as he handed over the role.

“We have grown considerably, developed new services, and increased our geographic reach,” he said.

“George has already served as a trustee for five years and brings with him all manner of relevant experience. 

“I know he shares my passion for developing Charity Link’s footprint and ensuring that our hard-won reputation for service delivery and integrity is continuously safeguarded.

“I look forward to serving on the Board for the foreseeable future and wish George every success and happiness with the challenges that lie ahead. 

“He can be absolutely confident of my fullest support.”

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