Spence steps down

The chief executive of Volunteering England has announced his retirement due to ill health.

Christopher Spence said today he was to stand down from the role that he has held for the past nine years, following medical advice. He has been unable to work since June.

Deputy chief executive Justin Davis Smith, who has been acting chief executive in Spence’s absence, will continue in the role until a permanent appointment is made.

Spence became chief executive of the National Centre for Volunteering in 1998, and assumed the top position when the organisation merged with Volunteer Development England and the Consortium on Opportunities for Volunteering to create Volunteering England in April 2004.

In a statement, Spence said it had been an “enormous privilege and pleasure” working in the sector. “As I recover my health and look forward to the next phase of my life, I am very confident of a strong future for volunteering, as well as for Volunteering England, which I wish continued success,” he said.

Davis Smith said Spence had been at the heart of the volunteering movement over the past decade. “He has done more than perhaps any other individual in championing the cause of volunteering and bringing it into the mainstream of public policy,” he said.

Volunteering England chair Mike Nussbaum said he was sad to see Spence retire.
“Christopher has a unique ability to combine inspirational leadership and good humour with his unswerving commitment, passion and deep belief in volunteering,” he said.

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