Leadership Change at ReachOut

ReachOut is today announcing that Bejal Shah will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer later this month. The Board have appointed Interim CEO Alice Memminger whilst a new permanent CEO is being recruited.  

Bejal has been with ReachOut since August 2017, heading up London programmes before being promoted to Programme Director in February 2019 and Chief Executive in April 2021. She led ReachOut’s successful response to the pandemic and the charity’s subsequent growth and development.   

Alice is a senior charity professional and management consultant with over 20 years of experience in the sector.  Alice has worked in a wide range of roles including senior strategy roles at Parkinson’s UK and Sue Ryder, as well as leading social enterprise development for a large Age UK and as an Interim Managing Director at Hammersmith and Fulham Circle.

Alice’s most recent charity management role was as CEO of the social mobility charity, UpRising Leadership. At UpRising, Alice managed a team of 32 staff dispersed across the UK, fundraised over £2.5 million and oversaw the successful delivery of leadership and employability programmes to over 2,500 young people from underrepresented backgrounds. Alice is looking forward to using her skills and knowledge to support the team during the transition to new leadership.

Bejal said: “It has been an absolute privilege to serve as CEO for the last two years and over five years in total with the charity, during which time we have made significant progress as an organisation. This has been an enormously difficult decision which I have not taken lightly. I will miss my colleagues, our mentors, partners and the many young people who I have grown to know so well in my time here.  I wish Alice every success in leading the transition as the Board search for a new CEO to take on what is a fantastic role in an organisation which is such an important positive force in the lives of young people.”  

Chair of Trustees, Ed Lehmann said: “The Board would like to thank Bejal for her dedication to ReachOut and her work to develop and grow the charity over the past five years, in particular her response to adjusting programme delivery during the pandemic which allowed the charity to continue to have a positive impact on young people during a challenging time. We wish Bejal all the best for the future and we look forward to working with Alice to prepare the organisation ahead of a new permanent CEO being appointed.”

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“At first, I was really hesitant to take on the Project Leader role, despite having mentored with ReachOut. However, with the support of the team I’ve really developed my skills. For example, at the Mentee Graduation, I stood up in front of 200 people and presented an award which is something I would never ever have been able to have done before, and isn’t an opportunity I could gain in my other situations.”

Amy McCutcheon, Project Leader at ReachOut Academy, Dean Trust Ardwick, Manchester.


“Being able to spend the summer working at Rede Partners, was an amazing experience. Whether it was working in HR or Finance, I learned so much about the world of private equity, made great connections with fantastic people and I got to learn first-hand what it would be like to work there! I really believe that I can go onto build the career I want now I’ve been a part for a workplace for real”

Victor Adekunle, 18 years old, ReachOut Ambassador, London


“When I first my mentee, she was very reluctant to participate in the sessions. Now, I see a completely different person! Her confidence has grown and she is happy to join in! She still has some self-doubt when it comes to academic work, but that’s what I hope to help her overcome, because she is a very bright person!

Through mentoring, I’ve learnt I’m a lot more patient than I realised. There will be days where she refuses to participate and those are the days that I really see the importance of the character strengths, for both the mentees and the mentors. It also makes it easier for the mentee to understand the character strengths, when I use them myself”

Myrtle, ReachOut Club mentor at Tufnell Primary School, London


“There are more distractions than ever outside of school, and the commitment of our students to attend ReachOut sessions is testament to the value they place on the relationships they foster there, and the challenge and enjoyment they provide.

ReachOut’s focus on communication skills and character development has become an important aspect of our provision of support for these students. The opportunity to relate to a positive role- model other than their usual teachers is key to the programme’s impact, and the evidence of this has been seen in the students’ attendance, resilience and to their overall progress across all the subjects in the school.”

Thomas Janvrin, Assistant Vice Principal at the Petchey Academy London