Penny Appeal has announced that its Chief Executive Officer, Aamer Naeem, is stepping down.
In a statement on its website the charity said that Naeem had led the organisation for the last 7 years “through astonishing growth, from a turnover of a hundred thousand to over £30 Million.”
The statement added: “Amongst Penny Appeal’s achievements during this time include a unique twinning strategy of domestic programmes with international programmes, setting up sister organisations for Penny Appeal in Canada, USA, South Africa, Dubai and Australia and winning numerous awards including Aamer being awarded an OBE in recognition of his efforts in community development.”
Aamer Naeem said: “Penny Appeal has been my life for the last 7 years and, working with a great team, we have built a confident, contemporary and competent organisation. I’ve learned a lot and given a lot, all of which is invaluable to me.”
Rizwan Khaliq, the Interim Chair of Trustees at Penny Appeal, added: “We would like to thank Aamer for his leadership, hard work and dedication. He has played a vitally important role, alongside notable others, in helping to grow and transform Penny Appeal into a household name. We wish him well for the future. We would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Harris Iqbal, who takes over as interim CEO.”
The news of Naeem’s departure comes a few months after the chairman and founder of Penny Appeal, Adeem Younis, was suspended in what appeared to be an internal dispute in the organisation.
Younis’s suspension came soon after the Charity Commission confirmed that Penny Appeal had submitted a “serious incident report” related to financial concerns.
Both the Wakefield-based charity and the Charity Commission refused to comment further while an investigation was ongoing. However, Penny Appeal said there was no significant risk to existing operations and the charity continues to operate as normal.
Penny Appeal says it provides poverty relief across Asia, the Middle East and Africa, with programmes to help the poor and needy by building wells, caring for orphans, providing nutritious food, delivering emergency aid in response to crisis situations and providing healthcare.
It also works in the UK to help homeless people and women who have experienced domestic abuse.
Penny Appeal is endorsed by celebrities such as the boxer Amir Khan, entrepreneur James Caan and Pakistani actress Mehwish Hayat, and has partnerships with the Department for Education and the Jo Cox Foundation.