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Money Advice Trust appoints new Trustee and Ambassadors

Sarah Desai, Bim Afolami MP, Christine Farnish CBE, and Sir Ian Cheshire join debt advice charity

Posted December 22, 2022

The Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline and Business Debtline and trains debt advisers in charities across the UK, has today announced Sarah Desai as a Trustee and Bim Afolami MP, Christine Farnish CBE, and Sir Ian Cheshire as its new Ambassadors.

Sarah Desai is the Director of Reward for Sainsbury’s where her responsibilities include setting the pay and benefits strategy for front line hourly-paid colleagues and management. She previously worked at New Bridge Street Consultants and is a committee member of The Remuneration Group (the independent group of FTSE 100 reward directors).

Bim Afolami is the Member of Parliament for Hitchin and Harpenden and is a Commissioner on the Financial Inclusion Commission.  He is also Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Financial Markets and Services and Chair of the APPG for Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Christine Farnish CBE is a former Managing Director for Public Policy at Barclays and Consumer Affairs Director at the Financial Services Authority, the forerunner of the FCA.  She also led an independent review of the Money Advice Service (now the Money and Pensions Service) in 2014.

Sir Ian Cheshire is a former CEO of Kingfisher plc and B&Q, was Chair of Barclays until January 2021 and was appointed to the role of Government Lead Non-Executive in 2015. He is an independent non-executive director of BT Group, President of the Business Disability Forum, Chairman of the Heads Together Campaign and is currently Chair of Channel 4.

Sarah joins Adam Sharples CB (Chair), Rebecca Wilkie (Vice-Chair), Laurence Burgess, Adrian Keasey, Lucy Malenczuk, Vineeta Manchanda, Lawrence Slade and Paul Smee on the Trust’s Board..

The three new Ambassadors join Money Advice Trust President Baroness Tyler of Enfield, and current Ambassadors, Otto Thoresen, Baroness Coussins, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles KCMG LVO and Simon Walker CBE.

Last year the charity helped 170,000 people in debt, over the phone and via webchat, through its National Debtline and Business Debtline services and had 1.63 million visits to its advice websites.

Adam Sharples CB, Chair of the Money Advice Trust, said:

“I am delighted to welcome Sarah Desai, Bim Afolami, Christine Farnish and Sir Ian Cheshire to the Money Advice Trust.  At a time when our services are needed more than ever due to the impact of the rising cost of living, the wealth of knowledge and expertise they bring will be a huge asset to our work.

“I would also like to thank Anna Bennett, Sir Ian McCartney and Sir Brian Pomeroy CBE for all their support of the Trust during the years they have served as Trustees, Ambassadors and President, respectively.  We are grateful for the enormous contributions they have made to our work over more than a decade.”

Joanna Elson CBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said:

“I am looking forward to working with all of our Trustees and our new and existing Ambassadors to help shape the work of the Trust for the benefit of the people we help.

“Our Trustees and Ambassadors play an important role in the work of the Trust and our new Ambassadors bring with them a wide range of skills, knowledge and influence that will I am sure help us in our work to improve the money and debt environment for people in financial difficulty.”

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