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Citizens Advice appoints new Chair as charity continues to support record numbers through cost-of-living crisis

5 February 2024

Citizens Advice has today announced the appointment of a new Chair of its Board of Trustees, Matthew Swindells, who was voted in at a charity general meeting on Monday 5 February.

Matthew joins the leading advice charity from a background in the government, public and private sectors. He is currently Chair of the Board for the North West London Acute Provider Collaborative, which covers four hospital trusts and 12 acute hospitals in north west London. 

Matthew’s connection to Citizens Advice goes back to his university days, when he volunteered with the organisation as a student in Hull. He went on to join the NHS as a management trainee from university and worked in many roles across the country, eventually becoming Deputy CEO and COO for NHS England. On the way he had a stint as a government health policy advisor and in various senior roles within the health service.

Matthew joins Citizens Advice at a critical time for the organisation, which has seen record demand for its services as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite. The charity helped 220,000 people last year alone with access to crisis support including food bank vouchers and emergency charitable grants. He will formally assume his position as chair from 1 March.

Speaking of his appointment, Matthew Swindells says:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining Citizens Advice. It’s an organisation I’ve held in incredibly high esteem since I volunteered as a student and I hope to bring that same enthusiasm and commitment to my role as Chair.

“Against a backdrop of huge pressure on household budgets, Citizens Advice has never been more needed. The organisation has a wide network of incredibly talented volunteers and staff and I hope to use my tenure to support the organisation as it provides life-changing support to people in very challenging circumstances.”

Sarah Wilson, Acting Chair of Citizens Advice says:

“We are really delighted that Matthew is joining Citizens Advice.  His wealth of experience, expertise in leading complex organisations in uncertain times, and personal commitment to our work is exactly what we need as we continue to support record numbers of people who’re feeling squeezed from all sides by cost-of-living pressures.” 

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  3. Citizens Advice helped 2.66 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2022-23. And we had 60.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  4. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 16,000 trained volunteers, working at over 1,600 service outlets across England and Wales.
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.
  6. Matthew has had a long career in healthcare, having joined the NHS as a management trainee from university and worked in many roles across the country, including Chief Information Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive positions in hospitals before becoming Deputy CEO and COO for NHS England. Matthew also spent time as a government health policy advisor in the early 2000s, and later joined the NHS Management Board as the NHS’s first national CIO. He has experience in the private sector as director of global strategy and population health management for the world’s largest dedicated healthcare IT company. He now combines his work as a consultant with chairing the North West London Acute Provider Collaborative. He has voluntary sector experience as Chair of the Charitable Trustees for Imperial College Hospital.
  7. Between October 2018 and November 2023, Warren Buckley was the chair of Citizens Advice’s Board of Trustees. Warren decided to stand down from the board in November after 11 years as a Trustee, including 5 as Chair. Sarah Wilson, an existing member of the board, assumed the role of Acting Chair while a formal replacement for Warren was appointed.