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18 October, 2013

Citizenship Foundation welcomes Martin Bostock as new Chair of Trustees

The Foundation is proud to announce that Martin Bostock has been appointed as our new Chair. He succeeds Michael Maclay who has steered the organisation for twelve of our 24 ground-breaking years.

Retiring Chair of Trustees Michael Maclay said it had been a huge honour to chair the Foundation over the past twelve years:

"These have been exciting times for CF, with many highlights such as the introduction of citizenship into the national curriculum, and the award of the Carl Bertelsmann prize when two wonderful young people from our projects received the award from Chancellor Merkel. There have also been difficult moments, notably the over-long debate over the shape citizenship would take in the new curriculum. This has happily come to a good conclusion, but the prolonged uncertainty means CF will have its work cut out rebuilding the links with schools, teachers, communities and young people themselves. Fortunately there will be a super leadership for the Foundation in my successor, Martin Bostock and Chief Executive Andy Thornton. I pay special tribute to them, to Founder and President Andrew Phillips, to the other excellent Chief Executives with whom I have worked, Jan Newton and Tony Breslin, and the fabulous CF teams I have known over the years. The faces may have changed but the idealism, professionalism and practical ability to make great things happen has not. I wish them all every success".

Martin Bostock is a former Vice Chair of the organisation and was appointed following an open recruitment process. He joined the Trustees in 2007 and has 35-plus years’ experience in public and private sector PR, advising household-name international corporations, business start-ups and charities on their communications strategies. He chairs the Nelson Bostock Group which he co-founded in 1987, and which has since become a multi award-winning, top-30 UK public relations agency. The group comprises a business-to-business agency (Nelson Bostock Communications), a consumer agency (Fever) and a social media agency (Things With Wings).

He is also Non-Executive Director and Senior Independent director of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Martin commented:  “It’s a tremendous honour to be asked to head the Citizenship Foundation’s board – especially following in the footsteps of such an inspirational and energetic leader as Michael.

“The Foundation’s work is arguably more vital today than at any time in its long history.  Many of Britain’s young people are disaffected with politics and with the ‘establishment’ as well as suffering more than most from the effects of a prolonged economic down-turn and the age of austerity.

“We have won the battle to keep Citizenship as a core subject within the newly-revised national curriculum, which was a tremendous victory.  Now we need to re-energise schools and teachers to work with us even more closely to give young people the education, skills and inspiration they need to play an active, engaged and rewarding part in our democratic society.

“I look forward to working with all my colleagues at the Foundation to grow and develop our many excellent existing programmes and to develop innovate new ones in the future”.


Chief Executive Andy Thornton paid tribute to the out-going Chair; former diplomat, journalist and adviser to Douglas Hurd at the Foreign Office and Carl Bildt in the Balkans:

“Our Foundation owes so much to the meticulous yet unseen work of our outgoing Chair, Michael Maclay. He has atremendous strategic mind and profound insights into the nature and value of democracy: be that in local neighbourhoods, Europe or the wider world, and has given them freely to us and to the wider benefit of young people and the nation. Every child who sits in a citizenship lesson and has a light-bulb moment, or who gets a tug in their gut from a school-based opportunity to help a cause they care about owes him something. They’ll never know that I’m sure – but we do and we thank him sincerely, in the quiet way characteristic of his own modesty.”

Martin Bostock will Chair the Foundation’s sixteen-strong Board with Vice Chair Sue Simmonds. Founder Andrew Phillips (now Lord Phillips of Sudbury) established and chaired the organisation for its first 12 years.

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