Gary Kernahan and Mark Ballard join our Executive Team

Children 1st are delighted to welcome two new permanent members to the charity’s Executive Team: Gary Kernahan (below L) and Mark Ballard (below R).

Gary, who has been the Interim Director of Fundraising at Children 1st since March 2019, will leave THINK Consultancy Solutions to join us on a permanent position as Director of Fundraising from January 2020. Following Mark’s success in the external recruitment process for a Director of Strategic Planning and Campaigns, Mark will start in this role immediately. Mark has been providing maternity cover for the Policy Manager at Children 1st since January 2019.

The Director of Strategic Planning and Campaigns is a new role within Children 1st, which we have developed to ensure that the voices of the children and families we support are paramount in our work to uphold their rights to protection, prevention and support to recover from trauma and abuse, as Scotland incorporates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mary Glasgow, Chief Executive said: “It’s fantastic to have such talented colleagues join our Children 1st team. Both Mark and Gary bring an exceptional level of expertise to the organisation as well as passion, energy and drive to make a real difference for Scotland’s children and families. I am delighted to welcome them to our leadership team and look forward to working alongside them.”

Gary Kernahan said: “I am thrilled and delighted to be joining Children 1st. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as Interim Director and I am excited to be able to lead the work to implement our strategy to inspire people in Scotland to raise funds to put children first. There is already so much great work to build on and an incredibly talented team to work with.”

Mark Ballard said: “I am very excited to be taking up this new role as Scotland moves to become the first part of the UK to put children’s rights into law.  I’ve always been impressed by the way Children 1st  holds children’s rights at the heart of everything it does from work with individual children and their families to leading policy change. The incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child gives massive new opportunities to secure transformational change for children and young people and I am delighted to have this opportunity at Children 1st to help make this happen”.

Gary Kernahan will bring his extensive fundraising leadership experience to Children 1st, having held senior roles at Cancer Research UK, the National Autistic Society, Muscular Dystrophy UK and THINK Consultancy Solutions. As a volunteer with the Institute of Fundraising Gary champions fundraising expertise across the sector and was awarded the Fundraising Excellence Award in 2018 in recognition of his work.

Mark Ballard will bring his considerable strategic experience as a former MSP, a Head of Policy at Barnardo’s Scotland and Director of Strategy at Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland to the role of Director of Strategic Planning and Campaigns at Children 1st.