Three new board members join Innovation Unit


PRESS RELEASE: Innovation Unit appoints Directors from HMRC, Ufi and Richmond Upon Thames Council to their Board.

Following a successful recruitment campaign, we’re proud to announce that three passionate and skilled individuals have joined our board and will be helping guide us in the delivery of our mission.

Rebekah Ayres (currently Director of Organisational Capabilities at HM Revenue & Customs), Joe Ludlow (Impact Investment Director for UFI) and James Thomas (Director of Children’s Services, Richmond Upon Thames) joined the board in January and bring a diverse set of skills and experience that will be invaluable to our work.

Paul Roberts, current Chair of the board, commented:

I couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Rebekah, Joe and James to the board of Innovation Unit. They hold strong values, have an incredible depth and range of experience, and are absolutely committed to bringing both challenge and support to our work and our business.

Rebekah AyresDirector of Organisational Capabilities at HM Revenue & Customs, said:

“The work undertaken by Innovation Unit to make a meaningful difference in communities where it really matters is impressive, so I’m proud and delighted to be joining the board. Their work is truly innovative and makes a real and measurable difference, and I’m looking forward to working with new colleagues to support the delivery of scalable and sustainable change.”

Joe LudlowImpact Investment Director for UFI, said:

“I am very pleased to join the board at Innovation Unit. I’ve long been an admirer of their pioneering work and deeply believe in the mission to drive positive social impact at scale by growing evidence based solutions. I hope my experiences in impact investment and working with ventures to scale-up will bring further value to the business.

James ThomasDirector of Children’s Services, Richmond Upon Thames, said:

“I am thrilled to be joining the Innovation Unit board and excited to be adding my knowledge and experience to the team driving their mission. I’m particularly looking forward to helping place innovation at the heart of improvement in public service and showing how proven innovations that deliver better outcomes for people at the same time as reducing demand and dependence upon the state, can be taken to scale.

The three new board members join at an exciting time for Innovation Unit. Current projects include using Big Lottery Funding to take Lambeth’s high impact ‘Living Well’ model for mental health to scale in three new locations, founding Big Picture Learning UK, a national charity that is supporting the opening of the first Big Picture School in Doncaster, and off the back of work on innovation in children’s social care, working with the 10 Greater Manchester authorities to help them identify tried and tested innovations that will deliver better outcomes for children and young people, and better value for money for the system.

Editor’s notes:

  • Innovation Unit is a social enterprise based in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It works internationally, applying disciplined approaches to develop new solutions to tough social challenges and create impact at scale.
  • Through projects and ventures the Innovation Unit team identifies, creates and scales evidence-based solutions, mainly focused on: children’s social care, learning & schools, healthy lives, early years and mental health.
  • Interviews and case studies can be arranged. Please contact: Becky Slack at Slack Communications, becky@slackcommunications.co.uk or 07854 221 568.