Chris Derbyshire, the Managing Director of Health and Wellbeing Charity – Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles (IHL) – has announced he will be stepping down at the end of September following more than twenty years at the charity.
The not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity deliver a range of services, including leisure centres, wellbeing services, theatres and parks on behalf of their Local Authority partners in Cannock Chase, Staffordshire and Selby, North Yorkshire.
Chris is heading for a new role as Operations Director with Bolton-based firm Seddons Plant & Engineers Ltd.
The 44-year-old has been at the organisation since it was formed in 2003, initially in the role of Information Officer. He quickly moved through the ranks and was pivotal in the Charitable Trust’s expansion into new contract areas in Selby, North Yorkshire and Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.
His appointment as Business Development Manager and then Head of Business Development saw the introduction of new technological developments for the charity, a greater focus on data and customer behaviour, enhanced reporting models to Local Authorities and new business strategies to drive the Charitable Trust forward.
Having played a crucial role in reshaping the charity through the pandemic, he was appointed as Managing Director in July 2021 and, since that time, has worked to overcome the many financial challenges posed by the energy crisis and cost-of-living crisis.
Chris said: “I could never have imagined the growth of the charity and its reach in making a genuine difference to people’s wellbeing. When I took on the role as MD it was one of the proudest days of my life. As sad as I am to be leaving this wonderful charity and the people in it, I’m looking forward to a new challenge.
“I’ve worked with so many wonderful people over the years, people who are committed to social causes and putting people’s welfare above profit. I’ve also been extremely lucky to work with some incredibly passionate and professional people at Cannock Chase District
Council and Selby/North Yorkshire Council, whose support is indelibly linked to our joint desire to improve individual and community health.
“I’m eternally grateful for all their support and dedication.”
Chris is now working with the Leadership Team and Board of Trustees to ensure a robust, in-depth handover to ensure business continuity and a smooth transition in the coming months.
Chair of the Board of Trustees, Pete Burt, said: “When you look at many of the key developments this organisation has made over the last 20 years, Chris has been at the heart of them, always fully committed to making the charity successful.
“He’s IHL through and through, and he will be sorely missed by the many friends he’s made here over the years.
“We wish him nothing but good fortune in his new role.”
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