We are pleased to announce that Duncan Shrubsole will be joining St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on Monday 24th June.

Duncan joins us from Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, where he is Director of Policy, Research and Communications. In this capacity, he has been instrumental in shaping policies and practices for small and local charities, including those dedicated to addressing homelessness. Duncan has led various funding programmes and partnerships aimed at innovating approaches to combat domestic abuse, criminal justice, housing, and social security. 

Duncan brings with him over 20 years of experience in the field of homelessness, starting from his volunteer work at Crisis at Christmas. He moved to a staff role, leading various initiatives focused on campaigning, policy development, research, best practices, and communications for nine years. His leadership has resulted in securing new funding, strategies, and government policies to address homelessness and rough sleeping. Notably, his efforts led to preventing severe cuts to housing benefits and establishing a significant programme to rehouse thousands of homeless individuals in the private rented sector, along with conducting essential research on the causes and consequences of homelessness. 

In addition, Duncan has served as a civil servant, collaborating with Ministers on transport and local government policies, and has worked for a local authority. He currently serves as the Chair of Trustees at Switchback, a charity supporting young men transitioning from prison to employment and stability, and he is also a Trustee of the Trussell Trust. Previously, he has held roles as a Trustee of a local Citizens Advice, a Board member of a Housing Association, and a School Governor. 

In his role as CEO, Duncan will lead the Charity through some key milestones for the Charity including the 100th Appeal with BBC Radio 4 in 2026. The launch of the Charity’s Fundraising Investment Strategy will facilitate the delivery of more evidence-based programmes to support people out of homelessness.  

Reflecting on his appointment, Duncan said:

“I am honoured to be joining St Martin’s in the Fields Charity as Chief Executive Officer. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home but far too many are denied this. St Martin’s is unique in providing direct financial assistance to individuals to help prevent eviction or to move on from homelessness, together with support for frontline charities and workers across the UK.

The charity has a rich history, particularly as we look towards the 100th Radio 4 appeal that raises such vital funds but, with homelessness rising and services under real pressure, it is needed more than ever. I am passionate about the role of charities in empowering people to change their own lives and using evidence, knowledge and experience to influence wider policy and practice. I look forward to working with staff, Trustees, partners and donors to take St Martin’s Charity forward on the next stage of its journey towards tackling homelessness and to maximise its impact. I can’t wait to get started.” 

Duncan Shrubsole, incoming CEO

Duncan will take over from Tim Bissett, who has served the Charity for over a decade. Tim has led the introduction of several innovative initiatives, notably the Frontline Network, a platform facilitating collaboration and knowledge exchange among frontline workers combating homelessness. Tim’s tenure saw the inception of the Annual Frontline Workers Survey, crucial for gathering frontline perspectives to guide the Charity’s strategies and homelessness solutions.  

On Duncan’s appointment, Tim said:

I am pleased to be passing the reigns to Duncan and am excited to see how the Charity will develop under his leadership. I am confident that with Duncan leading the Charity will continue to support more frontline workers to ultimately, get closer to achieving our vision of everyone having a safe place to call home and the support they need.

Being the Director of the St Martin-in-the-Fields Charity for ten years has been a privilege and a joy. I have had the opportunity to work with a dedicated and passionate team of staff and volunteers, who have made a difference in the lives of thousands of people experiencing homelessness across the UK. And, of course, working deliver the BBC Radio 4 Christmas Appeal with St Martin-in-the-Fields has been a huge privilege, and I am grateful for the generosity and trust of our donors and partners.” 

Tim Bisset, outgoing CE

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