Grant-maker chief to step down after 15 years with the charity

Nick Acland has spent the past 10 years as director of the Henry Smith Charity and the previous five as a trustee

Nick Acland
Nick Acland

The director of The Henry Smith Charity is stepping down after 15 years with the grant-maker.

Nick Acland, who has led the charity for 10 years and was a trustee for five years before that, will leave the role in May.

The Henry Smith Charity, which was founded in 1628, is one the UK’s largest grant-makers, helping people facing financial disadvantage.

Acland said: “Having led the organisation through the lockdown, and overseen a significant increase in our grantmaking, now feels the right time to step down.”

The charity made grants worth £42m in the year to December 2020, up from about £33m in both 2019 and 2018, according to the latest accounts published with the Charity Commission.

Acland said: “During my time at Henry Smith, I have had the good fortune of meeting many wonderful people who work selflessly to provide support to a wide range of people at a time of need.

“Seeing their commitment and dedication has been truly inspiring and being able to provide funds to help them in their work has been a great privilege.”

Vivienne Dews, the chair of trustees at The Henry Smith Charity, said that Acland had seen the organisation through “a period of significant growth in grant-giving for the charity, and through the testing times of the Covid-19 pandemic. He will be missed greatly, and leaves with our grateful thanks and very best wishes.”

A spokesperson said Acland was “taking time to consider his options” for what to do next.

The charity said it would begin advertising for its next director in the near future.

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