Hope for Justice is today announcing the appointment of Tim Nelson as its interim CEO, following the departure of Ben Cooley.
Chair of Hope for Justice Trustees, Peter Elson comments: “Hope for Justice stands by its four key values of Honouring, Openness, Professional and Empowering and expects all employees to conduct themselves to appropriate standards. Earlier this year, trustees directly received allegations from two former employees, via the charity’s confidential whistleblowing procedure which maintains confidentiality throughout the process. The complaints were made regarding the behaviours of Ben Cooley.
“While the allegations were not of a criminal nature and no other members of the leadership team were implicated, they were determined to be serious and the Charity Commission was duly informed.
“The trustee board took immediate action in commissioning an independent and experienced investigator and legal counsel on 28 January 2021. The independent investigator was charged with conducting an evidence-based investigation in order to establish the full facts and circumstances relating to the concerns and allegations presented. In order for the allegations to be fully investigated, Ben Cooley was instructed to take a leave of absence.
“On completion of the investigation a written report was submitted to the appointed investigation case team within the trustee board and, based on the investigation findings and recommendations, disciplinary action was then initiated. Ben Cooley subsequently attended a disciplinary hearing and is no longer with the organisation, subject to the potential of an appeal.”
Co-founder of Hope for Justice Tim Nelson has been appointed interim CEO.
Chair of Trustees Peter Elson welcomed the appointment of Tim Nelson: “Hope for Justice was founded to bring an end to modern slavery by preventing exploitation, rescuing victims, restoring lives and reforming society. 12 years later we are closer than ever before to making this a reality.
“Through the work of our global workforce we now deliver projects from more than 30 locations across five continents. Last year alone our programmes reached 102,803 children; we trained over 20,000 people to spot the signs of modern slavery and respond effectively; and in the UK our Advocacy team staged more than 7,000 interventions.
“Today marks a new phase for the charity with the appointment of Tim Nelson as interim CEO. Over the last few years, we have invested heavily in the executive team as we look to radically scale up the organisation.
“With 18 years’ experience at executive level and eight years with Hope for Justice as International Development Director, Tim has demonstrated the vision and skills to take the charity to the next level.
“We want to expand our global footprint even further to tackle modern slavery and create nations and societies that are hostile to human trafficking. Together we can continue our mission to change lives and ultimately end slavery.”
As a founding member of the charity, Tim has served as International Development Director since 2013.
The further changes to the senior leadership team have seen Elaine Jones move from International Operations Director to Chief Operating Officer.
Tim Nelson, newly appointed interim CEO, commented: “Just over twelve years ago I joined the founding board of Hope for Justice. Although we were small in numbers we had huge ambition and a shared vision to bring an end to modern slavery.
“In 2021, we have grown to operating in 10 countries with an operating turnover of £8.7m. Most importantly we have had impact, improving the lives of thousands of people across the world. I’m privileged to have been given the opportunity to lead our amazing charity that is changing lives for the better each and every day. We have great ambitions to reach even more countries with our shared vision to change lives and end slavery. I know that I am blessed with exceptional colleagues in every single role and location in which Hope for Justice operates with the commitment and capability to reach our goal together.”
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