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The CEO's Blog - Opinions of the month from our CEO

Fresh out of the Blocks…

Chief Executive Donal Watkin discusses what he hopes to achieve for ACO, as well as looking at what our focuses will be looking into 2020. 

For those of you I haven’t had the opportunity to connect with yet, November has been a steep (but extremely enjoyable!) learning curve as I step into the role of ACO Chief Executive, following Dominic Fox’s retirement at the end of October.  

I am coming onboard at an exciting time of change within ACO, where I believe there is a tremendous opportunity to develop our organisation and increase the range of benefits and resources we can provide. In order to help achieve this, I am keen to engage with as many members as possible at this early stage, to better understand your relationship with ACO, and ensure that we are working to provide real value in your membership. This will no doubt require us to look closely at extending the range of events and services we currently offer.

As we come towards the close of the year, our focus will be very much around delivering on our nationwide awareness campaign – One Day Changes Lives – taking place week commencing 20th January. We are very excited about the opportunities this will provide to raise public awareness of the impact grant-making charities and benevolent funds have on society. We are grateful for the support we already have from members who are currently participating in the campaign, but don’t worry – if you have not previously committed to taking part, we would still welcome your involvement - contact hannah@aco.uk.net for more details.

Moving forward, working alongside the Board and my ACO team Hannah Page (Communication Officer) and Marie-Claire Bijeje (Administrator), we will look to build on the achievements of my predecessor Dominic in order to build ACO’s reputation as the voice of the sector and effectively represent the views of members to Government and key influencers. It is important that beneficial charities - and the vital role they play in society – is better understood.

In the meantime, may I wish you all a wonderful Festive Season and New Year, and I look forward to hopefully working and engaging with you during the course of 2020. Before this, we have the small matter of a General Election and the significant impact (directly or indirectly) the result will likely have on our sector…we live in interesting times!