Charity 2020

In December 2012 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation invited ten civil society leaders to set out their ideas about the role of charity in 2020 Britain.

The UK’s social and economic landscape had faced many challenges since the 2008 credit crunch. This had profound implications for charity and philanthropy in the UK. What kind of civil society do we need and want, who is responsible for it, and how would it be affected by future social and economic upheaval?

In the following short films each individual talks for two minutes on the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead. 

Cliff Prior
Chief Executive, UnLtd


Cliff Prior is the Chief Executive of UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs. In its first 10 years, UnLtd has supported nearly 10,000 people to start new social ventures, with cash, coaching and networking, and has been replicated in 4 other countries. Cliff is also a member of Comic Relief’s UK Grants Committee, a trustee of Clore Social Leadership, and the Local Trust, and is a member of Big Society Capital’s Advisory Board and the new Skills Review for the social sector. He has set up several organisations over the years such as Strutton Housing for people living with HIV in the 1980s through to more recently. Cliff previously ran Rethink, which grew to become the UK’s largest charity in mental health.

Bharat Mehta
Chief Executive, Trust for London


Bharat Mehta OBE is the Chief Executive of Trust for London, an independent charitable foundation working to tackle poverty and inequality. Prior to taking up this post, he was Chief Executive of the National Schizophrenia Fellowship (NSF, renamed Rethink Mental Illness). Bharat is a trustee of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; a member of the Executive Committee of London Funders; chair of the Resource for London – the first dedicated voluntary sector office and meeting space building in London; and a director of the Social Justice and Human Rights Centre Ltd which is currently developing The Foundry in Vauxhall, a building for organisations working on social justice issues.

Marion Janner
Founder, Star Wards

Marion Janner OBE runs the Star Wards project and its parent charity Bright. Drawing on Marion’s experience as a detained inpatient, Star Wards works with mental health trusts to help wards make small changes which have a huge impact on patients’ daily experiences and treatment outcomes.

Nick Pearce
Director, Institute for Public Policy Research

Nick Pearce rejoined IPPR as Director in September 2010 after two years as Head of the Policy Unit at Number 10.  In addition to running the Downing Street Policy Unit, Nick has worked as an advisor in the Home Office, the Cabinet Office and the former Department for Education and Employment. He was formerly Chair of the Advisory Board to the UK Chief Scientist's Foresight progamme and served on the Equalities Review and the Teaching & Learning 2020 Review. He is currently a member of the board of the Royal Institute of British Architects Trust and the UK-India Roundtable. He was educated at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford. His books include Politics for a New Generation, Social Justice: Building a fairer Britain, Tomorrow's Citizens and Wasted Youth.

Zoë Vickerman
Alliance Director, Centre for Social Justice

Zoë Vickerman is a Director of the Centre for Social Justice, heading up the CSJ’s engagement with the voluntary sector. The CSJ is an independent think-tank, established to put social justice at the heart of British politics. In response to the shocking levels of disadvantage across the nation, it studies the root causes of Britain’s acute social problems in partnership with its Alliance of over 350 grassroots charities and people affected by poverty. This enables the CSJ to find and promote evidence-based, experience-led solutions to change lives and transform communities. The CSJ believes that the surest way to reverse social breakdown – and the poverty it creates – is to build resilience within individuals, families and the innovative organisations able to help them.


Dame Mary Marsh
Director, Clore Social Leadership Programe

Dame Mary Marsh is founding Director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme . She is a non-executive director of HSBC Bank plc and a member of the Holdings Board Corporate Sustainability Committee. She is Chair of the International Alumni Council and Governor of London Business School. She is currently leading a review into leadership and skills in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector for the Cabinet Office. Previously she was chief executive of NSPCC and her earlier career was in education, latterly being headteacher of two comprehensive schools.


Matt Peacock
Director, Streetwise Opera

Matt Peacock is Founder and Director of Streetwise Opera, a charity that uses music to help homeless people move forward in their lives. Streetwise runs a weekly opera programme in 11 homeless centres around the UK and stages biennial opera productions that have been seen around the world. Matt is a former Clore Leadership Fellow, a board member of People United and was awarded an MBE in 2011.


Bonnie Greer

Bonnie Greer OBE was born in Chicago where she later studied with David Mamet before moving to New York to study at the Actors Studio with Elia Kazan. She has been living in Britain since the late 1980s where she has carved a reputation as an author, playwright and critic. She won the Verity Bargate Award and has been a judge on many prizes including the Orange Prize for Fiction. Bonnie regularly contributes articles to the broadsheets, current affairs and arts magazines, as well as appearing for comment on TV and radio. She is a Trustee of the British Museum.


Gerard Lemos
Co-founder, Lemos&Crane

Gerard leads the research team at Lemos&Crane. He is the author of several books and reports about social policy and supporting vulnerable people. He is Chairman of the Money Advice Service, appointed by the FSA and an independent director of the Payments Council. He is also Vice-President of the British Board of Film Classification. He chaired the Board of Trustees of the British Council from 2008 to 2010 having been a trustee since 1999 and Deputy Chair from 2005. He was a visiting Professor at Chongqing Technology and Business University between 2006 and 2010. Gerard has formerly been Chair of Akram Khan Dance Company, an Audit Commissioner, a Civil Service Commissioner and a non-executive director of Crown Prosecution Service. He received a CMG in the Queens' Birthday Honours List in 2001 for services to the British Council.

Dai Powell
Chief Executive, Hackney Community Transport Group

Dai Powell is the Chief Executive of HCT Group, a large-scale, award-winning social enterprise in the transport industry, operating transport and training services from twelve depots across London, Yorkshire, Humberside, the southwest and the Channel Islands. Dai has been Chief Executive since 1993, leading the organisation as it has grown by more than a hundredfold – from a small community transport provider into an award-winning national social enterprise.

In November 2012, Dai won Social Enterprise Leader of the Year at the SEUK awards. He is a board member of Big Society Capital, is the Chair of the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (DPTAC), the outgoing Chair of the Community Transport Association (UK) and a Social Enterprise UK board member. Dai was awarded an OBE in 2006 for services to disabled people.