Published on 12 December 2023

Youth First appoints new Chief Executive

Youth First is delighted to announce the appointment of new CEO, Chris Price

Chris is currently Chief Executive at Pecan, a community development charity based in Peckham, South East London, and brings a wealth of senior leadership experience across the charitable sector. Chris will succeed Gülen Petty who is leaving Youth First in December after two years initially as Deputy CEO and currently as interim CEO following the departure of founding CEO Mervyn Kaye earlier this year.

Chris has been CEO of Pecan since 2011 and has grown the organisation to meet the needs of the most disadvantaged people in South East London; providing food security projects, women’s support and community programmes alongside continued employment programmes. Previously, he worked in senior positions in charities covering sectors such as; people living with HIV, family support, recycling and homelessness. 

Chris is passionate about giving a voice and opportunities to young people in their community and said about joining Youth First,

I am delighted to join Youth First as CEO to continue their remarkable work supporting over 5000 children and young people across Lewisham, to develop their potential and build their community. In my work with Pecan I saw the kind of amazing changes the right support, at the right time, can bring. I look forward to continuing that work at Youth First and further developing services and opportunities to support young people.”

Chris will join Youth First at a challenging, but exciting time, as the charity continues to implement it’s strategy at a time of significant financial constraint. Key initiatives include the further expansion of an innovative one-to-one mentoring programme for young people and the redevelopment of Riverside Youth club in Deptford which is planned to re-open in 2024, following a successful fundraising campaign led by Youth First. 

Chair of Youth First, Val Davison said, 

“We are thrilled to welcome Chris as the new Chief Executive of Youth First, as we look to further expand and develop our services, to have an even bigger impact on the lives of the children and young people who use our services. 

As well as an outstanding professional career, Chris has a personal commitment to community work and a reputation for personal connection with everyone he works with, and we very much look forward to welcoming him to Youth First in the New Year.”


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