Former Oxfam GB chief to lead small charity for refugees

Mark Goldring, who left the international aid charity after the safeguarding scandal, has been appointed director of the Oxford-based Asylum Welcome

Mark Goldring
Mark Goldring

The former chief executive of Oxfam GB has been appointed director of a small charity that supports refugees in the Oxford area.

Mark Goldring will join Asylum Welcome on Monday, having stepped down from leading Oxfam in the wake of the 2018 safeguarding scandal.

Goldring, who was chief executive of the learning disability charity Mencap before joining Oxfam in 2013, said he wanted to use the experience he had gained working at a global level to make a difference locally.

He will move from having managed a charity with an annual income of more than £400m to one that recorded an income of less than £400,000 in 2018/19.

The charity offers services including practical help on immigration and asylum, teaching English and running food banks. It has a small staff team supported by more than 150 volunteers.

Goldring said in a blog post that he was as excited as he had ever been to be starting a new job.

“Leading Asylum Welcome, a small, local charity, focused on people in the Oxford area where I live, and nearly all of whose workforce are volunteers, might not seem the most obvious step after a career spent in larger, mostly international organisations, but it feels so right, for me, now,” he said.

Since leaving Oxfam, he said, he had spent the past year supporting the leaders of charities of various sizes.

“But deep down I gradually realised that I prefer to be the person trying, if not always successfully, to get things right, rather than the one telling others how they should do so,” he said.

Goldring said the move would bring his career full circle from his first work with refugees from Bhutan in the 1980s back to refugees in Oxford now.

He said in a statement: “I want to use what I’ve learnt leading and advising organisations to contribute to the wellbeing of some of the most vulnerable people in our society. 

“Having worked on a global stage, I now want to make a difference locally. I hope that my experience will help us improve the way we receive and support refugees and asylum seekers, both in Oxford and nationally.”

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