The Film and TV Charity’s chief executive Alex Pumfrey has announced that she is to leave the organisation after nearly six years in post.
Pumfrey, who joined as CEO in October 2017 after serving as chief operating officer at Digital UK, has led the Charity through a period of significant change. With a full rebrand and the launch of its free, 24-hour Film and Television Support Line shortly after her arrival, she marked a shift in the Charity’s focus, moving it from an organisation best known for providing financial and later life support to one that also enables better mental health and wellbeing for people working behind the scenes in film, TV, and exhibition.
The shift, in response to the harrowing statistics about poor mental health being experienced by nine in 10 people responding to the Charity’s first Looking Glass research, saw Pumfrey lead on the creation of its Mental Health Taskforce.
This brought together senior personnel from leading film and TV businesses, industry bodies, and wider stakeholder organisations to deliver new interventions including the Charity’s Bullying Advice Service and Whole Picture Toolkit for mentally healthy productions.
During Pumfrey’s tenure, the Charity also raised more than £6 million during the pandemic to support more than 10,000 film and TV professionals who had lost their livelihoods due to the lockdown and ensuing restrictions on production. One in five of the 2,000 recipients of the Covid Emergency Relief fund said they would have lost their home without the Charity’s intervention.
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Since Pumfrey joined in 2017 the number of clients the Charity serves has grown more than 20-fold from 500 to more than 10,000 per year; and fundraising income has trebled.
Pumfrey said: “It has been the greatest privilege to lead the transformation of the Film and TV Charity and see the team’s phenomenal work make our reach and impact soar. Working in a purpose-driven organisation amongst amazing colleagues is a huge pleasure, and I want to pay tribute to their achievements, since it truly is teamwork. My mission when I arrived in 2017 was to secure the Charity’s relevance, impact and financial sustainability – and I will leave satisfied in a job done, but also excited that there is so much more the Charity will go on achieve in its future.”
Interim Chair of the Charity’s Board of Trustees, Andrew Wilson-Mouasher, said:
“Over the last six years Alex has led the transformation of the Charity, working with the team and the Board to develop the strategy to 2030. As the organisation faces into its hundredth year, it is now far better equipped to meaningfully help those working behind the scenes in film, TV, and cinema with the challenges and barriers they face, and the strategy that Alex and her team are now implementing means it is well-placed to continue to meet those needs over the next hundred years. I would like to pay tribute to her tireless hard work, robust spirit, and to her compassion – she won’t be easy to replace but I, and all of the Charity’s Trustees, wish her the very best for the future.”
Pumfrey will remain at the Charity until the end of May when an interim CEO will be announced. The recruitment of the next Chair of Trustees will open on Monday 6th March, with the new Chair then expected to lead the recruitment of Pumfrey’s replacement.