As you will know, the AGM on Wednesday was my final day as chair of Plunkett. I am very sorry I have not been able to say goodbye to everyone personally, but we live in strange times.
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and efforts over the years. I am proud of what we have achieved together and I believe that we have demonstrated the essential role that community businesses play in their communities. This has been particularly so over the last few months, when rural community businesses across the UK have risen magnificently to the challenge of helping their communities and especially the most vulnerable residents within them to access the services they need.
It has been a pleasure and a privilege to lead the organisation for the last seven years. We have faced some challenges together and none more so than now, but I am sure that Plunkett and its members will be even stronger in the future.
I am also very grateful to all our partners and funders who have worked with us and supported us over the years. There is strength to be gained by continuing to work together in the future which will only help to increase the benefits for rural communities generally.
I have enjoyed my time at Plunkett immensely. I owe a great debt to my fellow trustees and to all the staff, both past and present, and although, inevitably, I leave with some sadness, I know you are in safe hands and I shall follow your future progress with great interest and affection.