ECT is “in a terrific place” to provide more support, develop new partnerships and expand our impact for local communities.
That’s the message from John Chesters as he takes up his position as new CEO at the charity, following the retirement of Anna Whitty in April.
“As we all emerge from the uncertainties and in far too many cases the personal grief of the last 12 months, I have little doubt that the need for ECT Charity is going to be greater than ever,” said John this week.
“Community Transport is so much more than just a physical journey. It is a lifeline, a connection to the outside world, and a route to an experience for many of the people we support.”
In a message to the charity’s team and partners across the three areas in which the charity operates in Ealing, Cheshire and Dorset, John said his aim “will not be to make great changes to the services we provide”.
He continued: “What we do is already exceptional and admired wherever it has impact, or wherever we become known. Our social value brings so much more than just a few pounds saved by a local authority.”
John paid tribute to the work of his predecessor Anna Whitty, saying she had “left ECT in great shape”.
He also praised the work of all the charity’s team during the Covid pandemic, keeping core services running but also stepping in with essential support such as food delivery and transport to vaccination centres.
As the pandemic subsides and the world readjusts, there would be new opportunities for ECT to “do more to help the communities we work with, but also to see what else we can bring to the places we work,” he said.
“ECT is exceptionally well positioned to help ensure we are there to provide support but also to develop new opportunities and partnerships to expand our impact. Because that is the culture of ECT – to go the extra mile.
“To say I am looking forward to the job is definitely an understatement. ECT is doing so much already, and it will be an honour to lead the charity as we enter our next phases.”
John officially started at ECT on 24th May, with deputy CEO Becky Casement having served as interim CEO after Anna Whitty retired at the end of April.
John was formerly CEO at Emmaus Hertfordshire, and also worked for a number of years with The Forward Trust (Blue Sky), supporting ex-offenders to find employment and in various operations focused roles. He also knows Ealing very well, having worked as General Manager for ECT Recycling between 2001 and 2006.
ECT Chair Patrick O’Keeffe commented: “We are delighted to welcome John as he takes up this key role at ECT. John will bring a wealth of experience to the organisation, including an excellent track record in the charity sector and extensive experience of working with local authorities. We look forward to working with John as he builds and expands on the solid foundations and strong values that have been developed at ECT.”