Announcing my retirement: blog from our Chief Executive, Sue Wilkinson MBE

After five and a half years of leading The Reading Agency, I have now decided that I will be retiring in July 2019. It has been a great privilege to lead this organisation and to work with so many talented and committed staff, trustees and partners, all of whom share our belief in the transformative power of reading and our vision for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life.

We set ourselves a very ambitious agenda five years ago. We wanted to continue to deliver our high quality partnership programmes, to develop them with the people we want to reach and to get even better at measuring their impact. We also, given the challenging times we are all operating in, wanted to review our business and delivery models to ensure long term sustainability and to create the capacity and resources to think about the reading offers of the future. It has been challenging, inspiring and hugely satisfying to work with everyone on this and we were all very excited this year to see it captured and celebrated in our new vision and mission.

None of this could have happened without Arts Council funding and the strong partnerships we have had in place with a wide range of organisations and stakeholders across the whole of the UK. One of the most inspiring things about working at The Reading Agency is the range, quality and diversity of the organisations we work with to develop and deliver our programmes and I am immensely grateful to all of you for the help, and inspiring ideas you have given me and the organisation.

The Reading Agency Chair, Vice-Chair and I have thought very carefully about my retirement. It has been designed to ensure that the new CEO will have plenty of time to get to know the organisation, people, partners and programmes in advance of the next Arts Council England national portfolio organisation process but also because we think we are now ready to have someone new in post who can to take The Reading Agency to the next stage. They will be coming into an organisation full of people passionate about our mission and committed to finding new ways of using the power of reading to tackle life’s big challenges. They will have the resources they need to help them achieve this goal and a strong and supportive Board.

I am looking forward to seeing all the great work I know the organisation will do in the years to come. I am going to be doing lots of travelling, continuing my trustee and mentoring work and of course reading the great pile of books I have built up over the course of five years of working with people who love to talk about, share and discuss reading. Thank you again for all your help and support over the course of the last five years.

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