The move comes as the charity, established in 1881 as a fostering and adoption agency, concentrates its activities on helping children at risk on the streets, youths in trouble with the law, disabled kids and young refugees.
‘We are changing our focus to become a campaigning organisation,’ said Johnson. ‘We want to give children a voice that will be heard by the media and the Government.’
The charity recently set up a campaign division and this month transferred its media office into this to ensure more emphasis is placed on proactive campaigning.
Johnson, who replaces Sue Williams, leads a team of eight and reports to assistant director of campaigns Tim Linaham.
He is hoping to attract celebrity endorsement and corporate sponsors for initiatives such as the charity’s Safe and Sound campaign, which aims to ensure children who run away from home have somewhere safe to stay.