Leslie Morphy: Why I'm moving on from Crisis

The outgoing chief executive talks about her time in charge and what she intends to do next

Leslie Morphy
Leslie Morphy

This is a wonderful organisation and I've had a fantastic time leading it for the past eight years. But I wanted to do other things and it seemed like the right time for someone new to come in. We're a year into a five-year strategic plan, which gives the new person plenty of time to push it through and add their own flavour to it.

My career highlight was being head of Crisis at a time when it has grown substantially: its income has more than doubled in eight years, it now operates from eight centres in the UK – not just in London – and there has been a significant increase in the number of donors and the size of our volunteer base. Unfortunately, this has been coupled with the frustration of seeing the problem of homelessness grow, despite the huge amount of extra resources that have been put in.

A personal career low would be the three and a half years I spent juggling freelance work with young children. Not having the structure of an organisation or colleagues to talk to was not a good way for me to work.

Overall, I've had fantastic work opportunities, but I slightly regret never having worked in the private sector. I don't know if I'd have liked working for a major corporation, but I think that it would have been an interesting experience and would have helped me to solve infrastructure issues differently. I believe people need to learn the basics of management and leadership in order to progress in the sector. It's also essential that they feel committed to the cause that they work for.

I have some other work, including being deputy chair of Oxford Brookes University and chair of Newborns Vietnam, but I'm not planning too much for when I leave at the end of July apart from flying to Marseille for a holiday.

Crisis is the national charity for single homeless people.

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