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Ex-BBC regional radio producer named new chief executive of Journalists' Charity

Former BBC journalist James Brindle has been appointed chief executive at the Journalists’ Charity, succeeding David Ilott who has retired after 22 years as charity director.

Brindle spent more than ten years with BBC Radio Nottingham, both as a reporter and producer, and went on to become channel director for local TV stations in Nottingham (Notts TV) and Kent (KMTV).

He was most recently an executive producer on the Sunday Politics show for the East Midlands through independent production firm Robin Hood Media, where he was also creative director.

Brindle said had joined the charity “at a time when world events continually remind us how much we need journalism and journalists”.

He added: “The charity has offered a lifeline for thousands of colleagues since it was founded in 1864 and I want to make sure we’re here to help for generations to come.

“We will continue to provide support for those facing hardship across the UK and Ireland and we are also committed to helping younger journalists develop their careers.

“That’s why we need to attract as wide a base of support as possible from journalists and media organisations. The more support we harness the more effective we will be.”

Press Gazette reported this time last year that the charity had been forced to shut down its nursing home for journalists and their dependents in Dorking, Surrey, after running it at a loss of £250,000 a year.

The 20-bed Pickering House opened in 2007 at a cost of £4m and closed in June last year. Its 14 residents were moved to other care homes, according to the charity, some in the Dorking area and others to be nearer to relatives.

Staff were given redundancy packages which the charity said had been above the national redundancy payments, and have since found work elsewhere.

Offers have been made on the home and the charity hopes to complete its sale by Easter this year.

It continues to provide sheltered housing at Ribblesdale, Dorking, (places are currently available) and respite care support across the UK.

The charity has since changed its focus to distributing grants to journalists nationwide who fall on hard times. Supporters can pay from £3 per month to support this work through the Be Part of It Now campaign.

Brindle added: “For less than the price of a coffee individual journalists can make a real difference to the lives of colleagues needing support and also to benefit from the charity’s growing calendar of networking events.”

Picture: Journalists’ Charity

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