Homelessness charity Crisis appoints chief executive

Matt Downie succeeds Jon Sparkes, who is taking up the top job at Unicef UK

Matt Downie
Matt Downie

The homelessness charity Crisis has promoted Matt Downie to chief executive. 

Downie, who has been the charity’s director of policy and external affairs since July 2014, will succeed Jon Sparkes, who is joining Unicef UK as chief executive.

Crisis said that during his time at the charity, Downie had overseen a number of policy successes and was awarded an MBE in 2019 for services to tackling homelessness.

Before joining Crisis, he spent four years as head of parliamentary and public affairs at Action for Children and prior to that worked for the National Autistic Society and the housing charity Shelter. 

Tristia Harrison, chair of Crisis, said: “Matt’s deep commitment to, and vision for, Crisis and for ending homelessness shone throughout the recruitment process and I am very much looking forward to working with him to achieve Crisis’ mission.”

Downie said: “This is an incredible organisation, whose staff, volunteers and supporters have a clear and unwavering determination that homelessness can and must be ended. 

“It will be an absolute privilege to lead the team, and to make sure that people facing homelessness are listened to by those in power and offered the best possible services.”

Downie will take up the role on 1 January, the day after Sparkes is due to leave.

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