SUNDERLAND Carers Centre will welcome a new boss in the new year.

Current Assistant Chief Executive, Amanda Brown, will step up into the CEO role in 2019, following the announcement at today’s AGM [November 7] that Graham Burt is to retire.

Amanda has worked at the Carers Centre for three years, having previously held roles at Changing Lives, a charity that supports vulnerable people, and the Change Grow Live charity. She will take control of the centre following a phased handover with Graham, who has been chief executive for the last six years.

She said: “I am immensely proud to take up the reins at Sunderland Carers Centre, a city institution that consistently delivers such a vital service to people who dedicate their lives to helping others.

“Graham’s are enormous shoes to fill, but his hard work, diligence and outright belief that everybody matters has ensured he leaves the Centre in far better health than when he started, six years ago. We will miss him very much and wish him a happy retirement.”

Amanda has moved quickly to reassure carers and other Centre users that normal service will be maintained throughout the transition period.

“Graham, the team and I are all working hard to ensure the handover over of responsibilities is seamless and does not impact on any of our services or carers,” said Amanda.

“People can rest assured that while the leadership at the centre may be changing, Sunderland Carers Centre will continue to be a haven of support, advice and a vocal advocate for our city’s caring community.”

Current CEO, Graham, will remain in post until the end of the financial year. He took over at Sunderland Carers Centre in a difficult period of central government cuts that directly impacted upon the charity, but over the last few years, he and his team have brought the facility back to a healthy financial position.

When he arrived at the charity, he was able to turn around the negative financial position Over the last six years, Graham has brought this to a surplus – primarily by changing the focus from being heavily dependent on public sector funding.

He said: “Carers are ordinary people doing truly extraordinary things for their friends or family. Every single person matters and deserves support when it is needed.

“I am immensely proud at what the team has achieved, since 2012. I am also incredibly happy that Amanda will be taking over as CEO. I could not think of a better person to steer our vital organisation into 2019 and beyond – I wish her and everyone at Sunderland Carers Centre the best of luck, even though I know they won’t need it.”