CXK appoints Pauline Smith as chief executive after young people's charity records deficit of £335,000

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A charity which helps young people get back into work has appointed a new chief executive tasked with turning around a deficit of nearly £335,000 last year.

Pauline Smith will take charge of CXK from interim boss Matthew Roberts in February, after the organisation advertised the position in August with an annual salary of £95,000.

She joins from Jewish charity Norwood, which supports vulnerable young people and adults, having been director of services there since January 2013.

Pauline Smith has been appointed chief executive of CXK
Pauline Smith has been appointed chief executive of CXK

Her appointment comes as newly-filed accounts show Ashford-based CXK more than trebled its deficit in the year to the end of March 2016.

It revised down its net losses in the previous year from £121,000 to £73,000.

The latest deficit includes a one-off payment to clear it of a defined pension scheme which increased its shortfall in 2015 by £266,000 to £339,000.

Without the one-off payment to rid it of the scheme – thought to be in the region of £452,000 – the charity would have made a surplus of £118,000 for 2016.

CXK opens its new head office in the Old Court in Ashford in 2014
CXK opens its new head office in the Old Court in Ashford in 2014

CXK, which also has offices in Dartford and Whitstable, calculated that 42,660 young people benefitted from its services last year. This was nearly double the 21,981 it helped over the previous 12 months.

Of these, it helped 2,075 into education, employment or training through its training and mentoring programmes.

The charity, which employs about 170 people, worked with 9,000 pupils at 60 schools in Kent, delivering 17,618 events, interviews and assemblies.

It boosted its income by 55% to £11.6 million, primarily due to two new contracts awarded by the National Citizen Service Trust and Skills Funding Agency.

CXK runs jobs fairs for young people and adults
CXK runs jobs fairs for young people and adults

As part of the National Citizen Service programme it worked with 615 young people, while its National Careers Service work gave careers advice to 15,946 adults and another 6,800 in custody.

It said contracted services with Kent County Council “continued to have a high demand but with less available funding”.

After appointing its new chief executive, chairman David Philpott said: “We had a strong response to this job opportunity and Pauline is our preferred applicant following an extensive and rigorous interview process.

“She demonstrated her deep-rooted passion, energy and commitment to work with us on our mission to empower individuals and communities to break the cycles of disadvantage and live the lives they choose.

CXK chairman David Philpott
CXK chairman David Philpott

“It is a challenging time for all in our sector with funding streams under severe pressure and we are confident that Pauline will give CXK, our supporters and beneficiaries the leadership it requires to build on our solid foundations of innovation, delivery and success.”

Ms Smith, who will take charge a year after previous chief executive Sean Kearns stepped down, said: “I am very excited and delighted that the trustees have chosen me to lead CXK through the next stage of its development.

“Making a difference in this world is what motivates, inspires and drives me.

“I intend to champion the charity and its staff who provide vital high quality services and support to so many people, especially young people who need help to make the most of their life and career opportunities.

“It is a big challenge but one I relish. I am really looking forward to getting my feet under the table and getting on with the job in hand.”

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