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After more than five years at the helm of leading Armed Forces and veterans’ charity Help for Heroes, CEO Melanie Waters is moving on to a new challenge outside the sector. Melanie has enjoyed a rewarding career in the military charity sector, spanning more than 12 years. Throughout this time she has focused on delivering transformational change and growth. She took over as CEO at Help for Heroes from inspirational founders Bryn and Emma Parry and led the ground-breaking charity into the next phase of maturity, cementing its credentials as a sustainable driver for change led by the needs of the Armed Forces Community.

In recent years she has led the transition from a location-based recovery model to supporting veterans and their families in their local communities and through the charity’s Recovery College. This fresh approach has transformed the accessibility and reach of the charity’s services.

Chair of the Help for Heroes Trustee Board, Sir Nigel Boardman says” Melanie leaves Help for Heroes in fantastic shape. We are primed and ready to implement a new 10 year strategy which focuses on ensuring everyone in the Armed Forces Community lives well after serving our country. Melanie has spearheaded the development of this strategy and it forms part of the deep and rich legacy she leaves for those who have served. Throughout her time as CEO Melanie has never lost sight of the need to be here for as long as our veterans and their families need us. This has been her driving force, and for this we are eternally grateful. We wish her all the best and thank her for her exemplary leadership.”

Melanie leaves Help for Heroes to step across to the commercial world, where she spent many years in leadership roles before joining the Poppy Factory as CEO in 2010. Her new role as Managing Director, TradeUp, will see her drawing on both her not-for-profit and commercial expertise. TradeUp is a new not-for-profit industry initiative, working to close the skills gap in UK trades and spearheaded by Richard Harpin and the HomeServe Group.

Melanie says: “ I have been incredibly fortunate to work with a remarkable group of people at Help for Heroes. Every day has brought inspiration and I am proud to have headed up a charity that supports the men and women of the Armed Services and their families, who do so much for us. The pandemic brought challenges for all of us, and we weren’t immune to that. This makes me even more thankful that I leave Help for Heroes knowing it’s in a great place and in the safe-keeping of truly exceptional colleagues. Naturally I am excited to be taking up my new role with TradeUp, they are building something very special and I look forward to leading this new initiative”

The search for a new CEO will begin shortly. In the interim, Deputy CEO James Needham will be taking up the reins until a replacement for Melanie is found. James has been instrumental in the development of the charity’s 10 year strategy and brings a wealth of expertise and continuity, having worked closely with Melanie and the Trustee Board for over 4 years.