Parting Shot: Kevin Cahill on why he's leaving Comic Relief

Kevin Cahill
Kevin Cahill

It was strange knowing Sport Relief 2016 was my last campaign as chief executive of Comic Relief. There's been great joy and satisfaction, and it's grown into a national institution.

When Lenny Henry said we'd raised over £1bn, I could probably be forgiven for thinking the job was done, but when you're working to end poverty and injustice that will never be true. Our new grants strategy reflects our knowledge and experience, as well as the crucial need to inspire our donors. Through it we will continue to support work with a lasting impact.

A personal highlight has been seeing Sport Relief grow into an awesome manifestation of how people will come together to do good. So many people have played a part in our success - the BBC, our corporate partners, politicians, an array of talented artists and sports stars and, of course, the public. Crucially, I've had the support of the magnificent staff who consistently work with determination and good humour to bring those campaigns to life. I salute them all.

I've been blessed to meet inspiring beneficiaries, from Rwandan widows recovering from the genocide to a group of young men in Belfast whose aspirations had been wiped out in childhood but who could see a glimmer of light thanks to the project they were in. So many lives, so many stories, so much evidence of what people are capable of.

I think I've got the best job in the world. It's never been a walk in the park and in some ways is harder than ever, with the sector under greater pressure to deliver against unprecedented demand and scrutiny. My biggest regret is not being 30 years younger and ready to start all over again.

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