Small Charities Coalition appoints Rita Chadha as chief executive

She will take up the role part-time alongside the interim chief executive before going full-time in September

Rita Chadha
Rita Chadha

The Small Charities Coalition has appointed Rita Chadha as its next chief executive.

Chadha, who has spent most of her career working for small community organisations, will take up the role on 10 July, initially working two days a week alongside Elizabeth Balgobin, the interim chief executive, until she goes full time in September.

Chadha, who spent 11 years as chief executive of the Refugee and Migrant Forum of Essex and London, has been working on short-term projects for different small charities since 2017, including as chief executive of the community interest company Localising Equality, which aims to help help local authorities work better with refugee and migrant organisations. 

She is chair of the Barking & Dagenham Council for Voluntary Services and of the National BAME Transplant Alliance.

Chadha succeeds Mandy Johnson, who left in September after just over a year in charge.

Julia Kaufmann, chair of the SCC, said Chadha would bring "strong leadership and management skills, and a dedication to the work of small charities that comes from a strong base of lived experience".

Chada said in a statement that she was excited to be taking up the new role at a time when the value of small organisations was being recognised.

"I look forward to working with the board, staff and our partners to make a real difference to the support for small charities," she said.

The charity revealed that it received 56 applications for the position, including 18 women, and from that a shortlist of six people, five of whom were female, were invited to interview.

SCC confirms redundancies

The SCC also said today that Chadha’s appointment came after a restructure that has resulted in three of the charity’s seven members of staff being made redundant.

The charity’s business development role was made redundant in March and its head of services and head of communications and external affairs have been made redundant this month.

A further two members of staff are leaving next month to take up other roles in the sector, the SCC said, but they would be replaced.

A statement from the SCC board said the decision to make redundancies was "made reluctantly, with considerable regret".

It said: "It is always sad and difficult to lose talented and dedicated staff. The affected staff worked extremely hard over the last few months while we appointed a new chief executive. We hugely appreciate their support in helping us to establish a firm footing before they move on.

"We are extremely lucky to have had them on our team and we wish them every success for the future."

The statement said the charity was confident it faced a successful future with a new chief executive and a new strategic plan.

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