A new role for VONNE's outgoing chair

Following our AGM, we're delighted to be able to announce our very first president.

In recognition of his service and support to VONNE during his time as our chair, Sir Paul Ennals CBE, who is standing down from the board after serving a maximum six-year term, has agreed to continue in an ambassadorial capacity as VONNE's first ever president. 

Meanwhile, Citizens Advice Gateshead CEO Alison Dunn will become the new chair of VONNE, and she'll begin the role from our next board meeting on December 9th.

Alison, who has been a member of VONNE’s board for three years, said: "It will be an honour to become the new chair. Sir Paul has done a remarkable job of steering the charity through some difficult times, cementing VONNE’s role as the voice of the sector. He’s been instrumental in the creation of the North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo), a cross-sector coalition across the North East region convened by VONNE to tackle the climate emergency, ecological collapse and the need for a just transition for our people and communities. This is a role I’m pleased to say he will continue to perform for us.

"I will come to the role of chair at an interesting time for the sector and for VONNE. As a sector we’ve certainly demonstrated our worth, with exceptional feats of bravery, agility, grit and determination to support our communities during the pandemic, and yet still we experience under-investment, lack of understanding and recognition for our work, as well as the challenge of rising costs, rising demand and diminishing resource and funding, struggling with sustainability, resilience and in some instances digital transformation. Our fantastic team of staff and trustees at VONNE is ideally placed to work strategically to tackle these issues, to ensure the voice of the sector is heard, influencing the policy, practice and strategy that will set the conditions within which we will all be required to work in the future. I can’t wait to get started!"