Dr Dray is an established and high-profile leader within the charity sector, bringing valuable experience from his roles as current Chair of the Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation, the world’s largest amateur dramatic youth festival. He also sits on the boards of the National AIDS Trust, the Coalition for Global Prosperity, and Coram the UK’s longest running children’s charity.
Currently a Partner at The Brunswick Group, where he leads the Global Philanthropy and International Development team, James will be instrumental in leading The Hygiene Bank’s strategic and governance development.
“I am incredibly excited to work with James on our vision for ending hygiene poverty in the UK. His experience and counsel at such a key time in the charity’s growth and development will be a valuable resource.” said Ruth Brock, CEO.
With over 12 years’ experience advising senior executives and running multinational public affairs, advocacy, corporate and crisis-related campaigns across multiple sectors, James will also add depth and experience to the team’s campaigning credentials, helping increase public awareness, whilst developing the charity’s ability to advocate for meaningful change.
“I have always been passionate about tackling inequality. When I first came across the Hygiene Bank I was struck by its mission and values, but also by the incredibly practical approach it has taken to support people to empower themselves to achieve their goals and aspirations. Hygiene poverty is a particularly pernicious but largely hidden problem that requires much more attention. I am hopeful that the Hygiene Bank’s next phase will continue to deliver for those experiencing hygiene poverty while seeking longer term systemic solutions.” Dr James Dray.
James takes the mantle from Tom Poynter, who chaired the Board of Trustees since 2020. His tenure saw the charity grow from 152 local projects to a national network of over 200 projects, run by 580 volunteers and supported by a growing central office team.
Tom helped enshrine the charity’s grassroots ethos in a defined set of core values, establish an infrastructure capable of delivering sustainable impact throughout the UK and commission and publish the UK’s first national research into hygiene poverty.
“I am incredibly proud of the many achievements The Hygiene Bank has accrued over the past five years. It has been a rapid and demanding journey, actioned by the most inspirational community of passionate volunteers and supporters. I am confident that James has the expertise, drive and vision to take The Hygiene Bank into the next chapter and I look forward to supporting him as he takes the helm.” Tom Poynter.
We are delighted to confirm that Tom will continue to serve on the board, working alongside our highly dedicated and experienced trustees, founder Lizzy Hall, Guy Davies, Elaine Jackson, Rahul Moodgal, Caroline Parr, Mark Phillips, Paul Pashley, Morag Punton and Lorraine Waters.
“On behalf of the entire Hygiene Bank community, I’d like to thank Tom for his stalwart leadership, especially for his guidance in steering the charity through the difficulties of the covid pandemic. He not only helped to ensure that our work continued throughout lockdown, but that we scaled up to meet the increasing need. Tom’s legacy is one of resilience and growth, and we are so pleased that he will continue to serve on our board.” Ruth Brock, CEO.
James Dray was officially appointed as Chair of The Hygiene Bank at a meeting of Trustees on July 23rd 2023 and will chair his first meeting this month.