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Marie Chadwick joined the Board of the charity, which runs libraries around Devon and Torbay, in 2020, and shortly after was appointed Vice-Chair. She’s now stepped up into the leadership role of Chair following Professor Will Harvey’s announcement that he’s taken up a new job in Australia.

In her day job Marie is a Policy Manager at the National Housing Federation. The organisation supports housing associations in their mission to build new social and affordable housing for the 8.5 million people in England who can’t currently access the homes they need. As part of this, she works with and lobbies the government to ensure the funding and financial support to deliver more affordable housing is in place.

Marie has also had a wealth of experience in local and national government as a former District and Town councillor, and as a policy and public affairs professional. She previously worked in the charity sector at a national disability charity where she worked with blind and partially-sighted people to campaign for better access to the NHS, transport, social care and democracy.

“I’m delighted to take up this role,” said Marie. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the past three years with Libraries Unlimited, championing the role libraries play in providing warm, welcoming, inclusive hubs at the heart of their communities. I strongly believe in the power of libraries to deliver positive outcomes for individuals and communities.”

“I’m particularly looking forward to becoming more involved in the events and cultural activities Libraries Unlimited put on, and our partnerships with organisations like Arts Council England. As Chair I hope to show the value Libraries Unlimited delivers and how the charity can help protect and improve the health and wellbeing of residents in Devon and Torbay. I’m also looking forward to working closely with the executive team, board and wider staff to ensure Libraries Unlimited continues in its reputation as a place where people love to work and where we have an outstanding culture.”

The current Chair, Professor Will Harvey, is moving to a prestigious new role in Australia. He will be taking up the position of as Director of the inaugural Social Purpose Centre at Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne. Professor Harvey was inaugural Professor of Leadership and the Education Director at the University of Bristol Business School, and began in the role of Chair of Trustees at Libraries Unlimited in November 2018. During his time in office, Professor Harvey helped steer the charity through the many challenges of the Covid pandemic.

“My five years of chairing the Board of Libraries Unlimited has been a fantastic experience and a privilege,” said Professor Harvey. “I would like to welcome Marie into what is a really rewarding and exciting role, and I look forward to keeping up with the exciting events and progress of Libraries Unlimited from afar.”

Libraries in Devon and Torbay are run by Libraries Unlimited, an independent staff and community owned charity. Join up for free by filling in the online form at or Follow Libraries Unlimited on Facebook.
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