Two senior appointments for national charity Changing Lives - My CMS

National charity Changing Lives have made two appointments to their senior leadership team: Andrew Wilson and Cherri Blissett.

The appointments come at a time of significant growth for the organisation, which supports 21,000 vulnerable and socially excluded people each year across the North and Midlands. The charity has over 100 projects, providing specialist support for people to change their lives for the better, in the fields of: housing and homelessness; drug and alcohol services; women and children’s services; and employment.

Andrew Wilson joins the charity as Chief Operating Officer. He previously worked in the private sector, having spent over 10 years at Sage Group leading work on strategy, mergers and acquisitions, business development and finance, as well as working for the publisher Penguin Random House as Finance & Commercial Director for their distribution business.

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Andrew Wilson (pictured above) joins national charity Changing Lives as Chief Operating Officer.

Andrew says:

‘Working for Changing Lives provides an opportunity to use the skills I have developed over my career to make a real, tangible difference to the services we deliver to the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities.’

Cherri Blissett joins Changing Lives as Executive Director of Integration. Cherri previously worked at the Wise Group where she developed the employability and justice business in England. Cherri has a strong track record in leadership positions, having also worked as an assistant director with public policy consultancy firm Rocket Science, specialising in research, evaluation and bid writing primarily in social justice projects.


Cherri Blissett (pictured above) joins Changing Lives as Executive Director of Integration.

Cherri says:

It is a pleasure to have joined Changing Lives in February 2018 as Executive Director of Integration. I am passionate about social justice and working for Changing Lives is a natural next step in my career, due to their reputation as one of the leading charities for people facing social exclusion.’

Both bring considerable expertise and insight to the Executive Board at Changing Lives, providing additional skills and capacity for the charity to execute its plans to reach out to even more people in need of its services over the next five years.

Stephen Bell, Chief Executive of Changing Lives says of the appointments:

‘We are thrilled that Andrew and Cherri have joined the Executive Board. Cherri brings a wealth of expertise from the field of social justice and public policy and has a deep understanding of the challenges faced by the people we support. Andrew’s commercial expertise and experience of business development will strengthen our ability to grow and develop our services in a challenging commissioning environment. Both are real assets to Changing Lives.’

The appointments are made more timely by the retirement of Ollie Batchelor from the role of Executive Director of Client Services in April 2018.

Ollie joined Changing Lives in 2007 from the Government Office North East where he was the regional manager of its Drug Interventions Programme. His expertise in substance misuse has seen him work as a visiting lecturer at Northumbria University and publish widely on the topic. His insight has helped shape and guide Changing Lives services for the past ten years.


Ollie Batchelor is retiring from the role of Executive Director of Client Services at Changing Lives in April 2018.

Stephen Bell says of Ollie’s retirement:

‘I want to thank Ollie for dedicating the last ten years of his career to Changing Lives. His expertise has undoubtedly touched the lives of thousands of individuals who have used our services during that time. Both personally and professionally, he will be a great miss to the organisation.’

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