Sir Bert Massie, said: “IARS is an organisation that is making a growing impact. I am proud to be associated with it, and look forward to working with it as one of its Patrons”.
Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Founder and Director of IARS said: "It is an honour to have Sir Massie as one of our Patrons and we are very excited with the appointment of John Palmer and Keith Griffiths . At this critical point in time, these key individuals will help us develop and deliver our ambitions and objects for a better society. We are very sorry to say goodbye to Helen Deakin, our Acting Chair, but wish her all the best for the future".
John Palmer, IARS' new Chair said: "During a time of significant social, institutional and economic change it is vital that the diverse voices of young people are amplified in the policy making arena. I believe that the innovative role that IARS plays in enabling young people to influence policies which will impact on their lives is a vital component in developing a fairer society.IARS work is supported by a group of inspiring volunteers and staff, and I am excited by the prospect of working with them over the coming years as Chair of Trustees.I am looking forward to supporting this outstanding charity to move to the next stage in its development."
Over the last few years, IARS has grown from a small, youth-led research network to an international, credible think-tank that uses innovative, peer-led methods to create an evidence base for effecting change and bringing about better outcomes for young people.
Keith Griffiths, IARS' new Vice-chair said: "I am really excited about the opportunity to expand my work with young people and to work with such dedicated enthusiastic and able team".
Sir Bert Massie CBE has worked in the charity sector for forty years and has been made a Knight for his services to disabled people. He acted as the Chair of the Disability Rights Commission (2000-2007) and Commissioner for the Compact (2008-2011).
Currently he is a Governor of Motability and of Liverpool John Morres University and is a member of the Baring Foundation Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector.
Previously he was deputy chair of the National Disability Council, a member of the Disability Rights Task Force, and a trustee of the Institute for Employment Studies and of Habinten Housing Association. He has been chief executive of the Royal Association for Disability and Rehabilitation (RADAR). Bert has a long and rich history working in the disability sector and IARS is looking forward to developing its work in this field.
John is currently a Director at Luther Pendragon, one of the UK's leading independent communications consultancies. He has spent twenty working in the Third Sector, where he developed and implemented inspiring high profile public campaigning, major fundraising, brand and stakeholder engagement initiatives.
John was previously Director of Marketing and Communications for The Scout Association and has worked for Oxfam, where he held number of senior positions. At Oxfam he played a central role in the development of its media, campaigning, new media and brand and fundraising strategies.
He has front line UK and international experience as a media spokesperson, communications officer and crisis communications manager and is a regular national media spokesperson and commentator. John has a lifelong commitment to working for the empowerment of young people and has always advocated the absolute need for policy makers to take their views into account.
Keith Griffiths is an executive coach, mentor and trainer currently working as a volunteer with Year In Industry mentoring pre-university and undergraduate students. He is also actively involved as a trainer and selection interviewer with the London Olympics. He is working as a coach with Executives in the charitable sector and as a trainer with a London-based business school.
Keith has worked extensively in the private sector primarily in Investment Banks. He originally qualified as a physics teacher and taught in both Africa and in the United Kingdom. Keith welcomes the opportunity to join IARS and "to be involved in a thriving charitable organisation."