CWVA team strengthened further with new interim Chief Executive

A number of changes are being made at Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) to help the organisation go from strength and strength and continue providing invaluable services for the community sector in Cheshire West and Chester.

Clare Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive, has guided the CWVA team expertly for more than two years while the organisation has been without a Chief Executive. As she has chosen not to take on the role for personal reasons, CWVA looked to appoint a Chief Executive to add extra capacity to the team.

Gary Cliffe, Co Chair of CWVA, has been appointed as Chief Executive on an interim basis from 9 August 2021 to 9 August 2022, meaning he’ll step down from the Board with immediate effect.

With a vast amount of experience in the community sector at a number of different organisations and knowing CWVA inside out, Gary will take on the role of Chief Executive part-time and strengthen the leadership of the organisation further.

Kathy Dooley will now become Deputy Chair of the Board to support Chair Simon Sandford, with Alistair Jeffs joining the Board as a Trustee rather than his previous role of Strategic Advisor.

CWVA has grown significantly in recent years through the experience and dedication of both the staff and Board of Trustees and the support provided to members has never been more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sector having to adapt in such challenging times so they could continue helping people in their communities.  

Rather than the pandemic hindering CWVA, it has developed its offer for members further, reshaping some of the services it provides to make sure they focus on the needs of members and putting a focus on specialist food infrastructure.

Simon Sandford, Chair of CWVA, said: “These developments are very exciting for CWVA and the wider community sector.

“Clare has guided CWVA and the team exceptionally while we’ve been without a Chief Executive and, after the Board offered her the role, she decided not to take it for personal reasons and we fully support her choice.

“The strategy for CWVA that Clare and the team have developed alongside the Board is one we’re very much invested in so it was important we brought in a Chief Executive who would be fully on board.

“Gary has been a key part of the Board for a number of years, worked in this sector for decades and already has strong existing relationships with key stakeholders across Cheshire West and Chester.

“He’ll strengthen the already excellent leadership of CWVA and add extra capacity as we look to continue developing our offer for members.”

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