The chief executive of Acton-based charity and social enterprise, Action West London (AWL), is leaving next week (24 October 2022) after 18 years of growing the organisation which has helped people across Ealing and west London gain access to employment, education and setting up their own businesses.
Dr John Blackmore said: “I have really enjoyed working with our dedicated staff, trustees, volunteers, community organisations, local authorities and funders, all of whom have contributed to AWL’s work. The charity has experienced significant change through this time whilst successfully continuing to serve disadvantaged people in West London. I would like to thank all who have enabled AWL to achieve its mission of changing lives through Employment, Education and Enterprise.”
Dr Blackmore added: “Whilst leaving as CEO of AWL, I remain committed to AWL’s Mission. AWL’s support is needed now more than ever and I look forward to the charity continuing its vital work in the future. AWL supports those people with the most barriers to employment – lone parents, ex-offenders, refugees, older people, NEET young people, young adults with learning, emotional or mental health difficulties with over 75% from BAME communities.”
Among the initiatives Dr Blackmore has been involved in, Acton Market is one of the most recent. The market gives local people an opportunity to set up their own small businesses and trade through a stall which has great benefit for the local community.
He said of Acton Market: “We want to engage all sections of the community and the market has massive social benefits. It brings people together from all kinds of backgrounds in a safe, outdoor space. And it is a public and social space for people to go and chat and meet.”
AWL operations and business development director Gary Buckley takes on the role of CEO from 25 October 2022 with a remit to further grow the organisation and to supporting those who need help in West London.
Mr Buckley said: “I am very excited to be taking over as CEO of AWL with a clear brief to continue to develop the services AWL delivers to support those most in need in West London. I am also looking forward to working with our partners and other like-minded organisations in West London.”
Tony Coyne, chair of AWL said: “On behalf of the trustees and staff of AWL, I would like to thank John for his dedication to AWL and wish him good luck for the future. I am looking forward to working with Gary and I wish him well in his new role.”