Chloe Mackay’s legacy at the Forces Employment Charity

Chloe Mackay has been a driving force at the Forces Employment Charity since 2016, where she has positively impacted the lives of veterans and their families. As the Deputy Chief Executive, her journey from a cancer charity to supporting the military community has been marked by outstanding achievements and an unwavering commitment to making a significant and positive difference. 

 

Background and inspirational journey 

Chloe’s remarkable journey to the Forces Employment Charity began after her successful tenure at Breast Cancer Now, where she held strategic roles. Seeking a more hands-on role in a smaller, more innovative organisation, she found her perfect fit with the Forces Employment Charity. Her previous experience with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) as a management consultant made her transition seamless. “I had worked with the MOD on several inspiring projects and joining the Forces Employment Charity felt like the perfect fit,” Chloe fondly recalls. 

Role and remarkable responsibilities 

As Deputy CE, Chloe oversaw two operational teams. One team focuses on providing employment support for veterans and their families, going beyond the charity’s CTP contract. The other, Op NOVA, supports veterans in the criminal justice system. Additionally, she was responsible for income generation, ensuring that the charity had the necessary funds to deliver impactful programmes. 

Impact and remarkable achievements  

Chloe’s tenure is marked by numerous outstanding achievements. One significant milestone was securing the charity’s first communications resource with the hiring of Sarah Stokes, which eventually led to the creation of a full communications department. Under her exceptional leadership, the charity expanded its support to the entire Armed Forces community, including partners and young people from military families. 

Securing the Call of Duty Endowment as the charity’s first corporate funder was another remarkable accomplishment, providing sustained funding for over five years. Additionally, the combination of RFEA and the Officers Association transformed the charity’s capabilities, allowing enhanced support and services. 

Challenges turned into triumphs  

Chloe tackled one of the most challenging aspects by developing Op NOVA, the charity’s criminal justice programme. “It’s a difficult area to secure funding for, so obtaining NHS funding for Op NOVA was a significant achievement,” she explains. Chloe holds immense admiration for the caseworkers who support individuals facing great difficulties with both kindness and firmness. 

Heartfelt motivation and meaningful connections 

Chloe’s motivation to work in the charity sector is driven by a deep desire to improve lives. “I’ve come to know and love the military community during my eight years at Forces Employment Charity. Veterans and military families face unique challenges, and it has been a privilege to tailor our support to their needs,” she shares. 

Throughout her career, Chloe has been influenced by several mentors. “Chris Askew, Chief Executive of Breast Cancer Now, showed me that you can be an authentic leader without a specific background in the field. Alistair Halliday, whom I’ve worked closely with, has been incredibly encouraging and fun to work with. I will miss him greatly,” she reflects. 

The power of collaboration and community 

Collaboration is at the heart of the charity’s mission. “We specialise in employment and understanding military lives, but individuals have a variety of needs. Partnering with other organisations ensures we address all aspects of their lives,” Chloe explains. 

A heartfelt farewell and a bright future 

As she prepares for her transition to a new role, Chloe reflects on what she will miss the most. “I will miss the fantastic team at the Forces Employment Charity. The organisation’s warm and friendly culture is invaluable. It is also a pragmatic organisation that makes sensible decisions and thoughtfully plans its direction. I will miss the people and the pragmatic approach,” she says. 

Leaving a lasting legacy and exciting future plans  

Chloe hopes to leave a legacy of strong relationships and a talented team she helped build. “I’ve recruited many of the people directly into the charity and built important relationships both internally and externally,” she notes. 

Looking ahead, Chloe is thrilled about her new role as the Chief Executive of Combat Stress. “Combat Stress is a wonderful organisation with a deep understanding of mental health within the Armed Forces community. I’m looking forward to making a positive impact and continuing to support our brave veterans and their families.”   

Words from the Chief Executive 

Alistair Halliday, Chief Executive of Forces Employment Charity, shares his admiration and best wishes for Chloe. “I am thrilled for Chloe, who I know will make a fabulous Chief Executive at Combat Stress. She has been a magnificent Deputy Chief Executive here at the Forces Employment Charity, where, over the past eight years, she has done a fantastic job building up new veterans’ and spouses’ programmes, managing Op NOVA with the NHS, and becoming a leading authority on veterans in the Justice System. While her departure will be a loss for us, it is wonderful she is taking her skills and experience to such a great charity where she can continue her important work in the future. We all wish her the very best and know we will remain very close.” 

Moving Forward 

Following the announcement that Chloe will be leaving Forces Employment Charity, Alistair Halliday (CE) looked at the existing Senior Management Team to expand their expertise into new fields. Alistair was delighted to inform the Board of Trustees recently of the following changes and is confident that all will excel in their new roles, continuing to build on the charity’s ongoing success and growth. 

  • John Cunningham, Director of Executive Services, has taken on full responsibility for Op NOVA and become Director of Justice and Executive Services.  
  • Lauren Blake, Director of Marketing and Communications, has taken on full responsibility for Business Development and Fundraising and become Director of Marketing, Communications and Fundraising.  
  • James Murphy, Director of TechVets, has become Director of Veterans and Families, adding Veterans and Families employment programmes to TechVets and Afghans.  

Chloe Mackay’s journey at the Forces Employment Charity is a testament to her exceptional leadership, dedication, and the positive change she has brought to the lives of veterans and their families. We wish her all the very best in her new role as we look forward to our own exciting future. 

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