Winning Scotland are delighted to announce the appointment of Zahra Hedges as our new CEO.
Zahra will step into the role previously held by Morag Arnot, who has led Winning Scotland as our executive director since 2013.
Zahra has more than 15 years’ leadership and management experience in the public, private and third sectors and we’re very excited to welcome her to the team.
Most recently, Zahra was a senior policy advisor for the Scottish Government, supporting all 32 local authorities to roll out a community based mental health and wellbeing service for children, young people and families.
Prior to that, Zahra worked for Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS), playing a key role in the latest iteration of Just Enterprise, the national programme of business support for social enterprises.
Until last year she was Vice Chair of Social Enterprise Scotland and now sits on the board of SACRO as well as mentoring with Pilotlight and MCR Pathways.
Zahra’s role at Winning Scotland will include leading the strategic direction of the charity while supporting the ongoing development of the team and building and growing relationships for the organisation.
Reflecting on her appointment, Zahra said: “I am delighted to be joining Winning Scotland at this pivotal time. We know that building resilience and confidence in our children and young people will be crucial not only in helping them to navigate the uncertain times ahead, but also in raising aspirations and attainment levels more generally.
“Winning Scotland has an excellent track record in realising big ambitions and has been at the forefront of work around developing positive mindsets - in sport, in communities, in schools and beyond for more than a decade. I'm looking forward to joining the team and supporting them as we move into the next phase of development."
Winning Scotland chairman Sir Bill Gammell said: “The board is thrilled with Zahra’s appointment. She brings a wealth of experience, networks and energy to the role and we are confident that, with Zahra at the helm, our major impact in Scotland will continue to go from strength to strength.”
“I would also like to record the board's thanks to Morag Arnot, who has done an outstanding job leading and developing Winning Scotland over the past eight years.”
If you’d like to say hello to Zahra, you can contact her via email at Zahra@winningscotland.org or through LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/zahrahedges. Her Winning Scotland web profile is available here.