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Mark Russell, CEO of the Children’s Society, on launching a new hub for children, celebrating a £1M grant from BBC Children in Need and making a positive impact!

The CEO of the Children’s Society, Mark Russell, talks about the new children’s support hub they’re launching in London, UK in July 2024, their 140-year history, ambitions for the future and creating an evidence base to roll out a nation-wide network of support hubs.


We celebrate the £1M grant from BBC Children in Need just announced on 15th May to support the Children’s Society’s work tackling mental health. We also look at key issues affecting children, such as online grooming, poverty, exploitation, county lines, mental health, domestic abuse and more.


The Children’s Society also drives forward advocacy campaigns, formulates policy positions and aims to achieve systemic change. They have around 800 staff, 6,000 volunteers and 140,000 supporters who are part of their movement.


This episode is for everyone who’s interested in children’s wellbeing and embracing innovative thinking to drive forward positive impact.

About Mark Russell

Mark was appointed as Chief Executive of The Children’s Society in 2019 and leads a team of 750 staff and 6,000 volunteers.

He is passionately committed to social justice and fighting for children and young people to feel hopeful and happy.

Mark grew up in Northern Ireland and read Law at Queen’s University Belfast. He has 10 years’ experience as a youth worker, supporting young people in England and Northern Ireland.

In 1999, Mark was awarded the ‘British Gas Tomorrow’s People Award’ for his cross-community work, bringing Catholic and Protestant young people together across Northern Ireland in the run up to the Good Friday Agreement.

Before joining The Children’s Society Mark served as Chief Executive of Church Army for almost 13 years. Mark has been a Trustee of The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England and has served as Chair of The Marylebone Project, the largest women only homeless project in the UK.

He is Vice Chair of Governors of a large high school in Hampshire, an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.

He tweets @markrusselluk. Mark lives outside London with his partner David and in his spare time he loves to travel, keep fit and a good red wine. If he were ever on Mastermind, his specialist subject would be the West Wing!


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