Mark Thompson, CEO, announced late last year that after 23 years he will be moving on from Connection Support in February. This in turn has led to a competitive recruitment process to find someone who can lead the charity onto our next journey.

Talking about the appointment, Mark said: “From a very strong field, Chris Keating was the strongest candidate. Chris joined Connection Support in a new role, Operations Director and Deputy CEO in January 2020. He has been an amazing deputy CEO to me and has brought in new processes and inspired the Operations Managers. Chris leads the team with empathy and by example and through exceptionally challenging times presented by COVID-19. Whilst Chris will officially take up the role of CEO when I leave on 11 February 2021, in practice he will start taking on some of the responsibilities sooner. I know he will lead Connection Support onto great things!

Chris joined Connection Support in December 2019 as Deputy CEO and Director of Operations. He has been in the charity sector all his working life and has a background in charity senior management and governance, including design, development and delivery of new and innovative services to support the homeless, refugees and other vulnerable people groups. He has worked alongside the Home Office, UNHCR and MHCLG to advocate for and consult on policy change, and worked alongside multiple delivery partners to create cohesive solutions to the challenges people face in our society.

Chris Keating expressed his joy on taking on the role from Mark: “Although I’ve been with Connection Support for a relatively short time, I am delighted to be stepping up to the role of CEO! The passion and commitment our staff and volunteers show on a daily basis is clearly apparent and it is an honour to be part of an organisation that seeks with all our collective energy to help the most vulnerable in our society overcome the challenges they face. I’m looking forward to leading the team onto our next steps of development. Mark is leaving an incredible legacy and it is my pleasure to follow in his footsteps as the new CEO to lead us into our next chapter.”

Jenny Berrill, Chair of Connection Support, said: “Chris has impressed the trustees with his leadership skills and the way he has thrown himself into the role of Deputy CEO and Operations Director. He has the drive and enthusiasm to take Connection Support forward.”

All the staff and trustees congratulate Chris on his new role and look forward to supporting him as their new CEO.