By Alex Kittow, Outgoing CEO of SOUTHMEAD DEVELOPMENT TRUST
I arrived in Southmead in May 2010 having been appointed as the part time General Manager for the Southmead Development Trust for the next 6 months. What an amazing 9 years it’s been! Little did I know Southmead Development Trust was more than the Greenway Centre and that this would lead to a full-time job as CEO of the best charity in Bristol.
I have come to love the people here, the strong sense of community spirit, and the aspirations and ambitions many individuals and community groups have in Southmead.
What inspires me most is the huge potential this community holds; from the young ones learning to walk who create so much joy, to the older folks who champion causes for the benefit of the future generations of Southmead.
It has been a privilege to lead the Southmead Development Trust to serve the community. My highlights include saving the Southmead Youth Centre in 2014, the Greenway Centre hosting a Gromit sculpture last summer, saving The Ranch earlier this year, and leading the community to explore the UK’s largest community-led housing and regeneration project around Arnside and Glencoyne Square.
It’s been exciting to begin to unlock the real potential that the Southmead Development Trust has to support the community, and I’m sure the charity will continue to grow its positive impact in Southmead and amongst our neighbours.
We are fortunate that the Trust has a strong volunteer board of trustees to provide excellent leadership and accountability, as well as a very strong staff team; rest assured the Trust is in safe hands during the transition period until the next CEO is recruited.
Southmead has a great reputation across the city as a community that gets stuff done and one where residents, through organisations like the Southmead Development Trust, are proactively leading positive change. Southmead is seen as a leader and an example nationally – let’s add that to the list of things Southmead can be proud about.
I am leaving at the end of May to take up a new role as the CEO of Libraries Unlimited in Devon, and will be taking valuable learning from my experience here in Southmead with me to the new job. Thank you to everyone for a great nine years.
Photo above: with Pickles McPrickles at Greenway Centre last summer