The Board of Camp Simcha has confirmed that Simon Johnson will be taking over as the new Chair of Trustees, following Julian Taylor’s retirement after nearly 13 years leading the board.

A former Chief Executive of the JLC, Mr Johnson is already a trustee of Camp Simcha, which supports UK families who have a seriously ill child; he will assume the position of chair from the middle of September 2023.

“I am honoured to have been trusted to assume the chair of this great charity,” said Mr Johnson, “working with the excellent staff and trustee board and following in the illustrious footsteps of Julian and those who led the charity before him. Camp Simcha is a wonderful charity, which I have supported for many years and it is one that has deep support and affection within the community.

“I look forward to building on the magnificent legacy that Julian has left and continuing on with all he has achieved as chair, to ensure that Camp Simcha continues to provide outstanding support to those families so in need of our care.”

During Mr Taylor’s time as chair, he has overseen the charity’s expansion to support families of children with serious and life-changing conditions where it was previously limited to life-threatening illnesses. More recently Camp Simcha has also extended its services to families whose child has a serious mental health condition and those who have suffered trauma or acute illness.

He championed innovation and progression to ensure the charity grew its services to meet need, with new initiatives such as animal assisted therapies and sibling retreat, as well as the rapid response and transition to remote support during Covid.

Speaking of his time as chair, Mr Taylor said: “It has been a privilege to be Chair of Trustees at Camp Simcha for nearly 13 years. I continue to be passionate about the amazing, bespoke, life-changing work the charity does and the difference it makes for families trying to cope with the most difficult of circumstances.

“It has been an honour to be part of its growth and I look forward to seeing Camp Simcha going from strength to strength with Simon as the new chair.”

Mr Johnson is an experienced non-executive director and chair, with a career that has seen him operate at the highest levels of the sports, media and leisure industries and the charitable third sector.

He is currently the non-executive Chair of the Rugby Football League and of SIS, a private company in the leisure sector. His company, SJRB, provides consultancy and advisory services to charities and companies in the leisure sector.

Mr Johnson’s career has also seen him in senior positions at ITV, the Premier League, The Football Association, COO of England’s Bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup and as chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council.

Neville Goldschneider, CEO of Camp Simcha said: “We are so very grateful to Julian for his many years of outstanding commitment and service to the charity, helping us transform into one of the major charities servicing Anglo Jewry. We are delighted that Simon has agreed to take over the mantle from Julian and we are confident that he will enable us to continue to respond to the needs of so many families facing every parent’s worst nightmare come true.”