The Charity CEO Podcast


Mark Russell

CEO The Children's Society: Fighting for Hope and Happiness

“You change the world, when you change the lives of children… It is better for society to build stronger children, than fix broken adults.”

Mark Russell was appointed Chief Executive of The Children’s Society in 2019 and leads a team of 750 staff and 10,000 volunteers. He is passionately committed to social justice and fighting for children and young people. Before joining The Children’s Society, Mark served as Chief Executive of Church Army for 13 years.

Mark grew up in Northern Ireland and read Law at Queen’s University Belfast. He has 10 years’ experience as a youth worker, supporting young people in England and Northern Ireland. In 1999, Mark was awarded the ‘British Gas Tomorrow’s People Award’ for his cross-community work, bringing Catholic and Protestant young people together across Northern Ireland in the run up to the Good Friday Agreement. 

Mark has been a Trustee of The Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England and has served as Chair of The Marylebone Project, the largest women only homeless project in the UK. He is a Governor of a large high school in Hampshire, an Honorary Canon of Southwark Cathedral and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts. 

Mark lives outside London with his partner David and in his spare time he loves to travel, keep fit and a good red wine. If he were ever on Mastermind, his specialist subject would be the West Wing!   

Twitter: @markrusselluk 

Ep 43. Mark Russell, CEO The Children's Society:

Fighting for Hope and Happiness

The Children’s Society believes that every young person deserves a good childhood.

Reflecting on the current context for young people in the UK today, is Mark Russell, CEO of The Children’s Society.

Mark tells us how he and his colleagues are stepping up the fight for hope and happiness for young people, at a time when its under threat like never before.

We explore the ramifications of the UK government’s Illegal Migration Bill and why British children have the lowest well-being rates in Europe.

The goal of The Children’s Society is that by 2030, the damaging decline in children’s well-being has been overturned, setting a path for long lasting growth and prosperity. Mark sets out what he believes needs to happen for us to get there.

Its a conversation full of passion, raw anger and hope. Enjoy.


Recorded May 2023. 

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