UK welcomes charity founder as new minister for the sector
Friday, 2nd August 2019 at 5:10 pm
A former charity CEO has been appointed the new UK minister for civil society.
Baroness Diana Barran was announced as the minister responsible for the charity sector on Tuesday, serving within the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Barran founded domestic abuse charity SafeLives in 2004, and was CEO for 13 years.
She has also previously served as chair of the Henry Smith Charity and worked at charity sector think tank New Philanthropy Capital.
Barran – who was made a life peer in 2018 and awarded an MBE in 2011 – said she was honoured to be chosen for the role.
“I have been a proud, passionate advocate of civil society for many years and have seen firsthand how the hard work of our charities, volunteers, social enterprises and responsible businesses improve lives up and down the country,” Barran said.
“I am delighted to be able to use my experience to listen, champion and enhance the role of civil society in building stronger communities and a fairer society for everyone.”
Barran’s extensive charity experience has been well received by the sector.
Sir John Low, CEO of the Charities Aid Foundation, said he was delighted to have a strong advocate for civil society in the role.
He indicated there should be a strong focus on the UK’s Civil Society Strategy to help “make Britain a global centre for philanthropy”.
“With the first anniversary of the strategy coming up next month there is an ideal opportunity to revitalise this work,” Low said.
“A great starting point is to ask DCMS to stress to colleagues across government the need to place charities at the forefront of their thinking.
“As always we stand ready to support the minister in raising the profile of civil society across the UK.”
Barran takes over as minister for civil society from Mims Davies, who was appointed as parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Work and Pensions.