Meet Rachael Swann Your Grassroots CEO

The pandemic has put more people than ever at risk of suicide. But it’s also shown that together, from mutual aid groups to vaccination volunteers, we are strong. Communities from around the world have come together to keep people safe. At Grassroots, we know we can harness this strength to help prevent suicide.

At this important time, we’re delighted to announce Rachael Swann as our new Grassroots CEO.

“I’ve heard so many stories of how our team of staff, training colleagues and volunteers make a difference by helping people to become ready, willing and able to support someone at risk of Suicide, Mental Health issues or self-harm and I am very proud to say I am now part of that team”

Rachael’s Experience

Rachael originally qualified in law before moving into senior leadership roles in Higher Education and the Charity sector, focusing on income generation, partnership, and operations management. This has included leading organisations through periods of change, including new ventures in the UK and overseas, external quality assessment, restructures, and major IT projects. Rachael has specialised in providing services to the vulnerable, including the homeless, young carers and carers supporting those with a learning disability, autism, parent carers, life limiting illness, mental health issue and drugs and alcohol misuse. Rachael is also Director of Umbrella, Brighton & Hove CIC helping homeless people or those in supported accommodation gain access to the private rented sector.

“We’re really excited to welcome Rachael to Grassroots as our new CEO. She’s joining the organisation at a time of growth but also a time when our services are highly in demand. I have no doubt that Rachael’s experience and energy will be a positive step for Grassroots and will help us to deliver our suicide prevention work to many more people who need it.”

Emma Mills-Sheffield, Chair of Trustees

Rachael will be taking over from Alex Harvey who acted as interim CEO from March 2020, helping guide and grow the charity through the challenges of the pandemic. Alex will be taking on the role of Head of Digital and Development, including the expansion of the StayAlive app and other key Grassroots digital projects.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Rachael to lead the team at this crucial time in our journey as a charity. Her experience and skills will be hugely valued, helping us to reach even more people and ultimately to prevent suicide in our communities.”

Alex Harvey, Head of Digital and Development


All Grassroots Staff