The Community Council for Somerset are delighted to announce that Val Bishop has been appointed as the new Chief Executive, taking the reigns in December 2022. She is currently Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation (SCF). Val said:
I have worked with a large number of Community groups, charities and social enterprises in Somerset and am passionate about the power of community. Ultimately there is more that connects us than divides us, and these connections can be used to learn from, to support and to create a Somerset where no-one feels adrift and alone.
I have known of the work of CCS for many years now, and the difference it makes to so many of our neighbours. I am privileged to be able to join the team and be part of that change. I can’t wait!
Val’s arrival is due to the departure of Keeley Rudd, who was Chief Executive at CCS for eight years, and with the organisation for twelve. Keeley has relocated to pastures new in France. She said on her last day:
What a journey! CCS is the most special place. I have never worked with more dedicated, passionate, kind and loyal people in 40 years of my working life. I will miss CCS terribly and I know all the team will all go on to even greater things in future.
Keeley was instrumental to the huge growth of the Somerset charity in recent years, securing it financially well into the future. This has ensured projects such as the much loved Village Agent and Carers service, Diverse Communities, Community Buildings support and social enterprise wing Smart Communities, became well-established and trusted support infrastructure to Somerset’s VCSE’s and statutory bodies.
Jane Birch, acting CEO said:
The whole team at CCS will miss Keeley greatly, but wish her nothing but happiness in her new adventure. However, Val is joining us from another magnificent Somerset charity (Somerset Community Foundation) so we know we are in safe hands.