COMMUNITY Action Suffolk has announced a new helm for the organisation, with Christine Abraham stepping up from her role as director of community services.
A lifelong devotee of volunteering and charitable activity, Christine grew up in the Ipswich area of Suffolk, went on to join the county’s constabulary, and has spent the last 20 years leading on various community development and infrastructure projects in the voluntary sector.
Taking the post of chief executive with immediate effect, 56-year-old Christine is a familiar face to those already involved in the region’s charity and voluntary sector scene, having served on the Senior Leadership Team of CAS since the organisation’s creation from 10 merged bodies in 2013.
Coming into post at a time of great reliance on the county’s charities and community initiatives, she is eager to see the sector both supported and applauded across Suffolk.
“Never before has there been so much call for voluntary led organisations to be delivering the kind of projects and services which are literally keeping communities thriving,” she said.
“In all the talk of austerity and political uncertainty, it’s so often forgotten – or taken for granted – that it’s our charities and our community groups and activities, which are enabling families and individuals to have healthy and fulfilling lives.
“In Suffolk in particular, the sector has delivered an enormous amount in recent years, under much pressure and challenge, so it makes me incredibly proud to be taking the role of CEO at Community Action Suffolk, and to be able to help shape the way our organisations are commended and aided in the future.”
Christine has set three key goals as part of her arrival into post.
She is keen to continue the high quality of work on behalf of Suffolk’s charities that CAS has been achieving so far; to encourage more people to recognise the value of volunteering or engaging fully in their community; and to raise the understanding of Suffolk’s voluntary organisations, their funding demands, their sustainability pressures, the amount they achieve, and the contribution they make to the local economy.
She added: “Having spent so long working alongside voluntary organisations of all scale, I have a deep passion for wanting to see these individuals and initiatives embraced and acknowledged for what they do in our county.
“Here in Suffolk, we’re providing a great example of how much the world of charity and volunteer structures really can change lives for the better, improve neighbourhoods – and fill gaps in provision where it matters most.
“My intention is to really build on the work Community Action Suffolk has achieved in recent years and to make sure that more and more people are made aware of the sector’s efforts and accomplishments.”
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