The ICAS Foundation has appointed Sanjay Singh as its director to lead the work of the charity in supporting young people from disadvantaged communities study accounting and finance.

Singh takes over the role from Linda Jamieson, who has been Director of the ICAS Foundation since 2014.

ICAS Foundation chair Norman Murray said: “Linda has been instrumental in the development of the Foundation and it is clear the difference she and her team have made to the lives of so many deserving young people over that time.

“She leaves with the appreciation and best wishes of Trustees, students, graduates and mentors all of whom owe her a debt of gratitude for all she has achieved.

“At the same time we are all delighted to welcome Sanjay as new Director. Sanjay brings a wealth of experience and an empathy for the purpose and work of the Foundation which impressed all the Trustees. He is committed to the continued success of the Foundation and will I know receive the full support of Trustees and ICAS as he takes the Foundation to the next stage of its development.”

Singh has spent almost 15 years in the charitable sector and has worked with several prominent charities in the UK, including Macmillan Cancer Support and People’s Postcode Lottery, as well as his most recent role as Head of Funding Programmes at NHS Lothian Charity (NHS Lothian’s official charity), where he was responsible for the strategy, management and distribution of multi-million pound funding programmes.

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Commenting on his appointment, Singh said: “Throughout most of my career, I have been largely led by my own principled ethos of working in sectors where I feel I have been able to achieve some form of social change. My career and my personal life in many ways have tracked one another over the years. I felt compelled in my early charity career to help children and young people to thrive, based on my own childhood experiences. I saw the inequality that existed for too many young people and felt compelled to take action.

“I am delighted and humbled to lead the ICAS Foundation into the future, creating more opportunities for young people to flourish by reducing barriers to higher education and addressing the attainment gap. The ICAS Foundation has a critical role to play in leading positive change in the Accountancy and Finance sector. Through strong partnerships with companies and education providers, and greater support from the generosity of individuals, we will support more young people across the UK and beyond, to fulfil their ambitions.”

Outgoing director Linda Jamieson said: “There are some serious barriers to talented young people from ordinary working-class backgrounds getting ahead in life. It has been a real privilege and honour to lead the ICAS Foundation in helping to break down these barriers by providing opportunities to students who have the talent but lack the financial means to realise their ambitions in studying accountancy and finance at university.

“The Foundation, which is generously supported by ICAS members and other benefactors, has provided £2.1m in bursary funding to help widen access to the accountancy profession. I am extremely proud of the 320 students who have benefitted from the financial and mentor support and wish Sanjay every success in taking the charity to the next level.”