Groundwork has announced the appointment of a new national chief executive to replace Sir Tony Hawkhead, who has left the organisation after 17 years to take up a new role at children’s charity Action for Children.
Graham Duxbury, who has worked for Groundwork for more than 15 years, most recently as its director of development, has been announced as Tony’s successor.
Graham takes the helm with a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the organisation’s journey and mission to build better, greener lives in the places that need it most.
He has been responsible for forging many of the partnerships with government, the private and public sectors which have contributed to Groundwork’s growth and success in recent years.
Graham will now steer the charity through its next phase as it seeks to achieve its 2015 goals to improve 1,000 spaces, help 100,000 households out of fuel poverty and support 10,000 people into education, training and work.
He said: “Groundwork is entering a new phase in its history that’s full of opportunity but not without its challenges. As demand for our projects and services grows we need to be ever more creative and resourceful to ensure we can deliver.
“We have a clear plan to raise our profile, diversify our income base and forge new strategic partnerships so that we can bring maximum benefits to the communities we serve. I’m privileged to be able to lead an organisation so full of passionate, professional people and look forward to working with existing partners and building new alliances.”
Bob Lawson, Groundwork Chairman, said: “Tony brought a unique combination of passion and pragmatism to Groundwork and, under his guidance, the organisation changed completely while remaining entirely true to its original vision.
“We now have delivery capability in every part of the UK. Our business units are much bigger and stronger, we have partnerships with major corporations and are in the thick of running large-scale government contracts.
“Graham has a wealth of experience and commitment and is the ideal person to build on these achievements. I look forward to working with him to help Groundwork go from strength to strength.”
Since being established on Merseyside in the early 1980s, Groundwork has had only two previous national chief executives. The first was the late John Davidson, whose original vision led to the establishment of Groundwork. He conceived and nurtured the idea of a charity harnessing the best of the state, business and communities to breathe new life into neglected corners of the country.
Tony Hawkhead took up the reins in 1996 after a career in government and brought a new business edge to Groundwork, helping it develop into a major organisation with an international reach generating and investing in the region of £100m annually in the UK’s most disadvantaged areas.