Connected Voice Works To Inspire Belief In Young People

Leading North East charity, The Key, has appointed three new members to its Board of Trustees. Lisa Eaton, Liz Watchorn and Terry Burke, all join the charity to help drive forward ambitious growth plans.

Founded in 1992, The Key works with a network of over 110 member organisations to provide young people aged 11-25 with the opportunities and support to deliver their own inspirational, youth-led projects that help their future education, training, careers and personal development.

Andrew Silver, Chair of Trustees at The Key, said: “As we continue to look to scale The Key both within and outside the North East we are well aware of the need to ensure we have the right skills as a Board of Trustees so we can effectively support the executive team.

“We are delighted to welcome Lisa Eaton, Liz Watchorn and Terry Burke to the Board. They are each expert in their respective fields but more importantly are passionate about inspiring belief in young people and share our core values of growth, collaboration and focus.

“Whilst we are very mindful of the challenges that young people are facing at this difficult time, with a new CEO joining us we are also excited about the opportunities the future holds for The Key.”

The Key has secured a significant investment of over £1 million from a collaboration of funders as part of an ambitious journey to scale the reach of its work. The charity works with targeted young people currently facing challenging circumstances in the North East by inspiring them through The Key Framework and has ambitions to grow this across the UK in the coming years.

The Key Framework empowers young people by guiding them in developing a set of 12 personal, relationship and task orientated skills that cover everything from learning how to work in a team to decision-making and problem-solving. Each individual skill is designed to benefit young people as they progress through education and training into adult life and employment. The Key’s overall growth ambition is to sustainably engage 6,500 young people annually with The Key Framework by 2025.

The Key’s Trustees are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of the charity. Each of the Trustees brings their unique expertise to add value to the team, as they support The Key in inspiring belief in young people. Lisa Eaton, Liz Watchorn and Terry Burke join the board in place of some retired members.

Lisa Eaton, Managing Director of marketing enterprises Unwritten Group and Fabric Academy, joins the board as a long-standing advocate for young people’s career progressions. Lisa said: “I’m thrilled to join such an experienced and passionate board with The Key. The values upheld by The Key of inspiring young people to reach their full potential are completely aligned with my own personal values of helping others excel. I’m looking forward to supporting the executive team in helping scale the ambitious organisation both in the North East and beyond.”

Liz Watchorn, Programme Manager of the Climate Action Fund at The National Lottery, brings to the board her extensive experience of driving forward socially conscious projects. Liz said: “I’m delighted to be joining the board of The Key at what is a really exciting time in their journey. We have all faced an extremely challenging year and this is a fantastic local charity that does so much in inspiring belief in the young people of the region, something so important as we come out the other side of the pandemic. The strong values, passion and hard work of the team and the board has been demonstrable from my first interactions and I can’t wait to help support them in realising their growth ambitions.”

Terry Burke, Vice President Finance for Husqvarna, has joined the board to support the organisation in delivering its vision to inspire young people to achieve their potential. Terry said: “I'm particularly interested in supporting the younger generation, often with social immobility challenges, to develop essential life skills and reach their full potential. I truly believe all young people should be given equal opportunities regardless of their background. This is an exciting time to be part of The Key, as we look to scale-up and help even more young people. I look forward to making a positive contribution, using my business skills and life experiences.”

The Key currently collaborates with over 110 delivery partners across the North East to help get The Key Framework into the hands of as many young people in the region as possible. Over the past five years, the charity has enabled 9,330 young people to complete the framework and plan 2,248 of their very own projects, benefitting 92,586 members of the community.

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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