Bill Sangster is appointed Chief Barker for the year ahead

Variety has announced the appointment of Bill Sangster as Chief Barker (Chair of the Board of Trustees) for the year ahead. 

Bill, who has supported the charity since 1997, will be instrumental in driving a programme of modernisation within the charity as it aims to reach new audiences and grow its income. This is to enable the organisation to continue its vital work improving the lives of children and young people throughout the UK who are sick, disabled or disadvantaged. 

Bill Sangster Variety Chief Barker

Bill has been involved in a range of activities in the 23 years he has supported the charity, from assisting with Annual Balls, sponsoring Sunshine Coaches, co-chairing the Fundraising Committee and joining the board of trustees in 2012. Bill has also been the Chair of the Sunshine Coach programme since 2009. Variety has already benefited hugely from Bill’s support and the charity is delighted that he will be stepping into the Chief Barker role to cement this even further.  

Bill has also combined his passion for Variety with another of his interests: golf; introducing the successful Variety Rugby Legends at Loch Lomond in 2013, which he continues to chair as it moves into its eighth year. He has been a member of the Variety Golfing Society since 1999 and was appointed an Executive to the Golfing Society Board in 2017 by the late and well-respected Tom Hilliard OBE. Bill is also the Chair of Governors at Five Acre Wood School in Kent, a school for children and young people with profound, severe and complex learning difficulties. 

Bill replaces Harold Tillman CBE as the outgoing Chief Barker, who during his year in post, fostered close relationships with many key supporters, including Michael Josephson and the Global Gift Gala, as well as securing and hosting a successful event at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the 70th anniversary year of the charity. Prior to taking on the role of Chair, Harold has been a long-standing supporter of Variety and founded the charity’s “Patrons of Variety” initiative to fund the work of Variety while bringing together philanthropic and eminent individuals to celebrate the charity. 

Jo Carter, CEO of Variety said: “I am delighted that Bill will be taking on the role of Chief Barker in 2020. Bill’s passion and commitment to Variety is clear from all the support he has given us over the years, and I am certain that his drive to move the organisation forward will help us further in our mission to transform the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children across the UK.”

Bill said: “It is a great honour to have been selected as Chief Barker for 2020, taking the reins from Harold Tillman CBE, who has achieved a great deal during his year in post. I’m looking forward to working closely with Jo and the trustees to set out a clear strategy for the charity moving forward which ensures that Variety is here to support disabled and disadvantaged children for years to come.”

Harold said: “I am incredibly proud of everything Variety has achieved in the past year, and have enjoyed my time as Chief Barker immensely. I’m sure that Bill will prove to be a driven and enthusiastic figure for the organisation and wish him all the best for the year to come. I am looking forward to remaining on the Variety Board of Trustees and will continue to Co-Chair the Patrons Committee.”