A senior Quaker who has experience developing charities from one-site set-ups to national concerns is to be the new chief executive at The Anne Frank Trust UK.

Tim Robertson, an Elder in the Quaker Meeting where he and his husband worship at Friends House, Euston, said there was no better time to challenge prejudice across the UK, and that The Trust would be a driver in doing so.

Robertson is best known for his nine years as chief executive of the Koestler Trust, which sells and exhibits art by prisoners, developing it “from a display in a church hall to a high-profile programme of exhibitions and events across the country”.

He left Koestler in 2015 and has since been the Director of the Royal Society of Literature, having begun working life as a social worker in Camden, and The Trust acknowledged his “track record of working with children and young people in disadvantaged communities”.

Tim Robertson

Replacing the interim chief executive Caroline Hoare, he said he was “honoured and excited” to lead the charity, saying: “I can think of no more urgent a need in our society than to end prejudice, and no more powerful a springboard for achieving that end than the courageous life and passionately honest writing of Anne Frank.”

The Trust educates people across the UK, and even has a prisons programme, taking the Anne Frank exhibition to all categories of prison, male and female, from high security to open prisons and young offenders’ institutions.

Daniel Mendoza, chair of The Anne Frank Trust UK Board of Trustees, said Robertson “brings a wealth of relevant experience and a real passion for our values and vision of a society safe from all forms of prejudice and discrimination… The need for our work today is greater than ever”.