Social mobility charity appoints former OVO marketing chief as CMO

Leading social mobility charity Speakers for Schools has appointed Dan Walsh as its new chief marketing officer. Walsh arrives from OVO Energy, where he was Head of Brand Marketing for SSE. 

Prior to that Walsh was head of marketing for BBC Radio 1 & 1Xtra before becoming head of marketing for the BBC Central Brand. Having worked in marketing for 20 years, he has also worked for global brands such as Red Bull and YouTube. 

Walsh joins Speakers for Schools as it rapidly scales, with its headcount growing from 14 to 115 in less than two years. Meanwhile, the charity acquired two organisations in the past six months, vInspired and Fledglink, offering volunteering opportunities and early careers support. 

Walsh will work with the charity’s CEO to fully integrate these new platforms into Speakers for Schools existing offering, which is primarily focused on delivering virtual work experience placements and inspirational talks to state schools from its roster of influential figures. 

With his experience engaging youth audiences, a key focus for Walsh will be developing the visibility of Youth Card: the charity’s free app it launched last year, offering thousands of work experience placements, careers advice, discounts, volunteering programmes, amongst much more to young people across the UK. 

Jason Elsom, the chief executive officer at Speakers for Schools, said: “Dan joins the organisation at a truly exhilarating time as we continue to scale our impact at pace. Dan’s extensive experience and knowledge of marketing to a young audience for brands like the BBC will be an asset to our team as we work towards supporting one million young people annually by next year.” 

Dan Walsh said: “Having grown up in Liverpool and attended a state school, I can deeply relate to the barriers many young people face as they struggle to kick start a life for themselves against a backdrop of few opportunities, which is exactly what Speakers for Schools has set out to alleviate. Its work to provide all young people with incredible work experience and career inspiration irrespective of background or where they live is vital and I look forward to helping the charity grow.” 

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