Fond Farewell to Austin McNamara

It's a busy week ahead for The Key as we say goodbye to Austin McNamara, see our current CEO, Hannah Underwood, take on her exciting new role as Director of Innovation and Growth and welcome our new CEO, Richard Haigh.

Austin joined us in May 2019 and has played a key role in the charity's achievements over the past 16 months. He has been a great team member and leader and will be a big miss in the team (although we know it will be more of a 'see you soon' than a big goodbye!)

Here's a few words from Austin as he signs off from The Key...

"As I come to the end of my last day in post, I would like to thank you for your continuing support for The Key over the past 16 months. It was a real privilege to lead this very special charity during Hannah’s maternity leave, and it has been a pleasure to job-share the CEO role since she returned to work in April. I am delighted at everything that has been achieved by our fantastic team of staff and trustees during that period, and I know that I am leaving the organisation in an even stronger position than it was a year ago. I am particularly proud of the work we did to refresh and embed our values of Focus, Collaboration and Growth, the significant investment we secured from a number of generous funders to support our ambitious scale-up plans and the way we rapidly adapted our ways of working in response to a global pandemic. However, by far the greatest job satisfaction has come from knowing that a significant number of young people across the North East region have improved their skills, confidence and resilience as a direct result of the work we have been doing in collaboration with our amazing network of delivery partners.

It is with great pleasure that Hannah and I now hand over the reins to Richard Haigh, who joins The Key as CEO on 5th October. Hannah is also very excited about taking on her new role as Director of Innovation & Growth from that date, and a week later they will be joined by two additional colleagues – Ashley Elliott (Head of Marketing & Income Generation) and Leah Roberts (Project Manager). It is very comforting to know that I am leaving The Key in such good hands, and I have every confidence that it will continue to go from strength to strength."