Hello from our new Chief Executive

17 June 2021
Jane Colthup

We are delighted to welcome our new Chief Executive, Jane Colthup.

I feel very fortunate to have been appointed Chief Executive of Community First Yorkshire following the excellent leadership of my predecessor, Leah Swain, and I am lucky enough to have inherited a magnificent, focussed and hardworking team and a supportive board of trustees. I can’t wait to work with them alongside the dedicated groups, volunteers, residents and colleagues who do so much to keep their communities thriving across Yorkshire.

I have a background in management consultancy, working with local authorities and previously worked in the training, skills, charity and recruitment sectors. I am an army brat, wife and mother, and as a result, I’ve lived in lots of different places. I have always considered Yorkshire home and where my heart is – both my children and I went to school here, my parents and siblings are here and we now live here permanently as a family. I am excited by the opportunity to give back to the place that has given so much to me personally.

My nomadic upbringing brought home to me the importance of local communities in contributing to people’s happiness and wellbeing. I’ve been very fortunate to be able to belong to a number of different communities over the years and they have often been the lifeline sustaining me when things were tough.

The pandemic has brought home more than ever the vital role local communities have in keeping community venues working when possible, transporting people to medical appointments, ensuring our young and older populations don’t feel lonely or isolated, and doing what we can to protect and look after each other. During this time, voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations have continued on delivering above and beyond expectations to make sure people aren’t left behind or forgotten about amidst the global crisis.

I am proud of our teams at Community First Yorkshire and the incredible work they have done, stepping up to some unforeseen and serious challenges. May I take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone for all your work and support in keeping local communities thriving throughout this unprecedented time. It will have made a big difference to many people and you can rest assured that your efforts touch many lives, helping keep our communities happier and healthier.

As we emerge from the pandemic, it is more important than ever that we work together to make our communities the happy, bustling places we want them to be and I look forward to meeting and working with many of you over the coming months.

It is a great time to join this organisation and look ahead to some of the exciting projects and work we have planned. Keep an eye out for our newsletters for more information on our upcoming Leadership Mentoring and Coaching, Funding Summit, Community Led Housing, climate action and even a new website!