Trust boss Ciara goes back to her roots

Ciara Van Vogt, new CEO of Seahouses Development Trust.
Ciara Van Vogt, new CEO of Seahouses Development Trust.

THE new CEO of a north Northumberland development trust has taken up her post.

Seahouses Development Trust recently appointed Ciara Van Vogt as its new chief executive officer and she began work on Monday.

No stranger to north Northumberland, Ciara grew up in Beadnell and was a student at Our Lady’s Convent, then the Duchess’s High School in Alnwick, before graduating from Manchester University.

She then spent 11 years working in a management role for Marks and Spencer before embarking on a complete career change into the voluntary and community sector in 2005.

Her work brought her back to the North East where she covered such diverse roles as volunteering with asylum seekers to tackle racism in schools, working closely with Sure Start in some of the region’s most deprived neighbourhoods as well as with officials from Brussels to highlight the challenges facing parents living in poverty across the North East.

Ciara said: “As the newly-appointed CEO of the Development Trust I will have the pleasure of working with a dedicated team of staff, trustees and volunteers.

“I believe it is the role of the Trust to be the very best it can be in order to deliver its strategic aims and objectives as well as serving the needs of local people. I am looking forward to a full and exciting future ahead of us.”

Seahouses is one of a network of 24 development trusts working across the county as part of a Federation of Northumberland Development Trusts.

It was established in 1996 with the aim of promoting and improving the social and economic well-being of the village and surrounding communities.

The Trust owns and manages Seahouses Community Resource Centre, Seahouses Sports and Community Centre and runs two social enterprises, Seahouses Accountancy Service and The Washing Line laundry service.

Maureen Bramley, who chairs the Trust, added: “We are delighted to have been able to recruit someone of Ciara’s calibre to be our chief executive.

“The Trust has achieved a great deal since being formed but we still have much to do for the benefit of our residents as well as visitors to the area.

“In challenging times we have to respond to the needs of the communities we represent and we are confident Ciara is the right person to help us do just that.”