Introducing Jenny Walton: Our New CEO

Introducing Jenny Walton: Our New CEO

The Refugee Employment Network (REN) is proud to announce the appointment of Jenny Walton as our first Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Jenny's appointment is an important milestone for REN as we take a significant step forward in our mission to connect refugees with businesses and charities, to make sure  refugees in the UK can use their skills,  secure appropriate and fulfilling employment opportunities, and employers benefit from highly skilled workers. Founded in 2019, REN is the only national membership network in the UK exclusively focused on creating better employment opportunities for Refugees across the whole country.

Our network of 385 partners are extremely important to us and critical to making the changes we need to see in supporting refugee employment. Jenny’s appointment will take REN to the next level of activity and impact,  growing our membership and showcasing the fantastic work our members are doing across the UK and driving efforts towards policy reform.

About Jenny

Jenny will join us in July, bringing over a decade of experience from Media Trust, where she currently serves as Director of Charity Services. Her work has focused on building cross-sector partnerships and connecting civil society with the media and creative industry to create a more equitable and inclusive society.

Jenny has worked with thousands of charities and community groups to strengthen their storytelling, advocacy, campaigning, press engagement and social media skills. She has designed digital skills training initiatives in partnership with Google, supported refugee and migrant organisations to re-frame their messaging to influence public opinion and policy, and launched a digital platform helping charities across the country to access the expertise of media industry volunteers to help amplify their impact. Beyond Media Trust; she sits on the Small Charities Advisory Panel and serves as a Trustee for Together TV, the first supporter-owned national TV channel in the UK.

Jenny is the granddaughter of refugees and her personal connection drives her commitment to advocating for refugee employment rights in the UK. Her volunteer work has always had it’s roots in refugee rights including advocating for unaccompanied refugee children and supporting the Magpie Project, who work with women and their children living in temporary accommodation.

"Most of us want similar things in life - a safe home, the love of our families, and meaningful work that allows us to take care of them. This is what inspires me and fuels my commitment to lead REN. As the granddaughter of refugees, I am deeply passionate about connecting refugees to fulfilling, long-term employment opportunities, ensuring recognition of people’s skills and qualifications, and opportunities for people to build new lives in the UK.

I understand that effecting systemic change is a long and challenging journey, one that I am wholeheartedly dedicated to leading as CEO of REN. I am excited to work collaboratively with the REN Board and our network of partners to create a more welcoming and equitable society for refugees in the UK."

Jenny's experience in digital transformation will enhance REN's National Jobs Board, driving greater impact and scalability. Her commitment to intersectional storytelling will provide a platform for people to share their stories and advocate for issues that matter to them personally.

A Message from Janice, Chair of REN:

Janice, Chair of REN, expressed her excitement for Jenny's appointment, stating,

I am delighted to welcome Jenny to the Refugee Employment Network. Her appointment comes at a crucial time for our organisation, as we have increasing demand for our services from refugees, support services and employers. We are all working towards our goal of ensuring that all refugees in the UK have access to fulfilling employment opportunities. With her leadership, expertise, and passion for social justice, I have no doubt that we will increase suitable and sustaining employment for all refugees."

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Jenny as she takes on this important role.