Heléna Herklots who spent seven years as Head of Policy at Age Concern England, will take over as Chief Executive at Carers UK on 1 February 2012.
Heléna Herklots said: "It is an honour to join Carers UK as their new Chief Executive. Making a difference for carers and improving their lives is a cause very close to my heart."
“Great progress was achieved under the fantastic leadership of the last Chief Executive, Imelda Redmond. It will be a real privilege to lead an organisation which has a long history of achieving landmark change for carers and raising the profile of the challenges they face."
“This is a crucial time to be heading up such an important organisation. The growing recognition of carers’ contribution and needs presents real opportunities to change the way we support families in communities, workplaces and through public services. However Carers UK members also know only too well the strain on families, with far-reaching change in the welfare system and enormous pressures on health and social care."
“There has never been a more important time to ensure that families are better supported. Society depends on the support that carers provide day in, day out and we all have a duty to support them better.”
Carers UK Chair, Don Brereton CB said: “Carers UK, with its many partner organisations, faces an unprecedented challenge in helping our members to cope with current and future health and social care needs.
“We are delighted to have secured an exceptional leader in Heléna. We must continue to work closely with Government and Parliament as well as public, private and voluntary sector organisations. Heléna’s background, including the major roles she has played for Age UK, will be immensely helpful in meeting our aims."
“Helena has worked with and for older people for over 20 years in a range of service development and provision, policy and strategy roles. She spent a year on secondment at the Department of Health working on older people’s issues, and for six years was Chair of the Government’s Housing and Older People Development Group. Heléna has served on a range of advisory groups concerned with public policy and services for older people, and is a Board member of Housing 21. She started her career working directly with older people and carers at day centres.
Heléna replaces Imelda Redmond, left Carers UK after 12 years to take up the new post of Director of Policy and Public Affairs at Marie Curie Cancer Care.
Under Imelda, Carers UK won vital new rights for carers in employment, welfare and social care; she helped establish the leading business forum Employers for Carers and the Care & Support Alliance – a groundbreaking collaboration of over 50 leading care and support charities and organisations, were established. In 2010 in recognition of this work, Imelda was awarded a CBE for services to disadvantaged people