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New Executive Director appointed to lead Archbishop of Canterbury’s initiative to promote fairer finance

The Archbishop of Canterbury's Just Finance Foundation announced today the appointment of Rowena Young as the charity's first Executive Director.

The Just Finance Foundation (JFF) will oversee and continue the programmes previously initiated by the Archbishop's Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings in partnership with the Church Urban Fund. The Just Finance Foundation has three key areas of work:

  • Promoting saving though the LifeSavers programme working in primary schools.
  • Through the Just Finance Network, building money skills, increasing the quality of low-cost credit where people need small loans and offering specific support for those in crisis.
  • Encouraging a wider debate about money and its place in our lives, building on the Archbishop of Canterbury's concerns about the responsible use of money.

Rowena Young will join the Just Finance Foundation from the Young Foundation where she is Director of Health and Education. Her appointment is effective from 27 March 2017 and the full time role will be based out of the London offices of the Church Urban Fund.
Commenting on her appointment as the charity's first Executive Director, Rowena Young said: "The Just Finance Foundation is being established at an extraordinary point in time, when both more people are struggling to make ends meet and there is more recognition we need to change the conditions so that prudent financial management pays. With its combination of ethics and pragmatism, and a phenomenal network of Church members in communities across England, the JFF brings powerful new assets to the cause and I feel inspired by their example to make long-term change." 
Rowena will work alongside Paul Hackwood, Executive Director of the Church Urban Fund.  Commenting on the appointment, Paul Hackwood said:  "We are delighted Rowena will be joining us to lead the new charity along with its newly appointed Chair, Douglas Flint, and the rest of the Board of trustees.  Rowena brings a wealth of experience and expertise, as well as the passion and commitment to lead JFF to deliver real change and address the financial distress that blights the lives of so many."



Notes for editors

Rowena Young has played a formative role in the social innovation and entrepreneurship fields that has combined the direct development of innovations with leading key intermediaries and contributing to policy development.  Prior to joining the Young Foundation she was Director of the Public Services Innovation Lab at NESTA, Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship at the Said Business School at Oxford University, and CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs.  She has started or had leadership roles in a number of ventures bringing creative responses to bear on unmet social need: commercial agriculture in poor communities, delivering access to the labour market for the long-term unemployed and behaviour change programmes tackling obesity; an internet services firm creating employment and training for entrenched drug users, run by service users themselves; a national news agency run by children and young people.

Currently the Just Finance Foundation delivers two programmes:

  • The Just Finance Network seeks to match the different resources of local churches (people, buildings, skills, money and networks) with the varied needs of credit unions, local community finance organisations and debt and money advice services.
  • LifeSavers is a national financial education programme for primary schools to equip children with the knowledge, skills, and values to manage money well now and in the future, working in partnership with Young Enterprise, a leading UK enterprise and financial education charity.

Douglas Flint is Group Chairman of HSBC Holdings.

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