Three new Executive Director roles have been created at the charity to implement its new five-year strategy, due to launch later this month: Executive Director of UK Operations, Executive Director of Strategy and Engagement and Chief Financial Officer.
Rebecca Kennelly MBE is the first Executive Director appointment and will join the DofE in July as its Executive Director of UK Operations.
Rebecca joins from Royal Voluntary Service, one of the country’s largest volunteering organisations where she has been Director of Volunteering. Over the past year she has been responsible for the delivery of NHS Volunteer Responders, a scheme mobilising over 600,000 volunteers during the COVID-19 pandemic supporting vulnerable people and the NHS. To date the programme has successfully delivered over 1.8 million volunteer tasks. Rebecca was awarded an MBE in the 2020 honours list for her service to the COVID-19 response.
Prior to joining Royal Voluntary Service, Rebecca was Chief Executive of Basingstoke Voluntary Action working in the areas of youth work, young carers support, community work, homelessness, mental health, and voluntary sector support.
Rebecca enjoys working with communities and young people and is passionate about the power of volunteering and community action. She chairs Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation which has in the last year supported communities with over £2.4m of grant support. Rebecca is also a trustee of a homelessness charity and a local Parish Councillor where she lives in Hampshire.
Ruth Marvel, DofE CEO said: “This is a crucial new role, supporting our established Region and Country teams and central operational functions, and responsible for extending DofE programmes to as many young people as possible, including those who are at risk and marginalised. I’m delighted that Rebecca, with her extensive experience, is joining us at such an important moment, as we build on The Duke’s legacy to empower young people with the skills, confidence and resilience to overcome anything life throws their way.”
Rebecca Kennelly MBE said: “I have always admired The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for its commitment and leadership in inspiring and enabling young people to achieve and be their best. I am so excited and proud to be given the chance to work with such an exceptional team at a time when young people, following the impacts of the pandemic, couldn’t need us more. I will be steadfast in my commitment to support the charity’s goal to enable more young people from disadvantaged communities to work towards their DofE and enjoy the significant benefits this brings for their futures.”