Sampson to leave Shelter

Long-standing chief executive to become ombudsman

Shelter chief executive Adam Sampson is leaving the housing and homelessness charity to become the first chief ombudsman at the Office for Legal Complaints.

A Shelter spokeswoman said Sampson was due to leave the charity in May, although an exact date had not yet been agreed. An interim chief executive will be appointed shortly while the hunt for a permanent successor takes place.

The Office for Legal Complaints, a public body sponsored by the Ministry of Justice, will deal with consumer complaints about legal services. Sampson will take up his post in July and the office is expected to be fully operational by the end of next year.

In a statement jointly agreed by Shelter and the Ministry of Justice, Sampson said he would look back with "a deep sense of satisfaction" at Shelter's achievements.

"The six or more years I have spent in Shelter have been some of the most satisfying - and challenging - of my life," he said. "Shelter has and always will be very important to me and I always knew that it would take a special job to tempt me away."

In the same statement, Hugh Norton, Shelter's acting chair, said: "Adam has given Shelter strong executive leadership. The board is grateful to him for taking Shelter through a period of considerable change and challenge, and for the way he has led its transformation in response to the fast-moving pressures of today's world. Most importantly, he has helped to move housing issues from the periphery to the centre of the political landscape."

Sampson has previously been employed in the voluntary sector as chief executive of drugs charity RAPt and deputy director of the Prison Reform Trust.

He started his career as a probation officer and has also worked as assistant prisons ombudsman at the Home Office.

Shelter staff went on strike last year over the introduction of new staff contracts. The charity has also suffered a decline in income.

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