Employee volunteer charity appoints new chairperson

Louise Soulsby

York Cares has appointed Louise Soulsby, UK Communications Lead, at Aviva UK as new Chair of the employee-volunteering charity.

York Cares is supported by around 30 of the city’s businesses, who encourage their staff to volunteer their time and skills for the benefit of the city, with the aim of making York a better place to live and work.  In return the employees benefit from personal and professional development including teambuilding and leadership skills.

Louise Soulsby said: “Employee-volunteers give over 10,000 hours of their time each year to over 200 community organisations and schools in some of York’s most disadvantaged areas.

“York Cares is such a simple name, but it conveys so much, as it is the essence of what this wonderful charity does. I’m excited to be joining York Cares as Chair and to hopefully bring more people together to make a difference to our local community.”

Louise is a professional communicator, with over 28 years’ experience within the financial services and transport industry. She currently leads the external communications function at Aviva UK and is responsible for managing and building the company’s brand and reputation. She has worked at Aviva since 2001 and was in the media team at Railtrack from 1994 – 2001.

Louise takes over from Caroline Dibbs, customer engagement director, at Aviva UK who stepped down after three years in the role. 

Programmes from York Cares include Inspiring Minds to inspire disadvantaged children, aged 7-11, by linking real life and learning; Team Challenges to address York’s community needs; Starting Blocks  which gives care experienced young people an insight into the working environment; Skills Share which supports voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations to become more sustainable; Aspirations which builds the confidence of pupils aged 11–16 and motivate them to aim higher for their future; and Social Connections which contributes to the wellbeing of older people in York.

The charity is currently recruiting 280 volunteers to take part in its Big Community Challenge at Rowntree Park in June. The challenge will see teams working together to transform the park ahead of its centenary celebrations this summer including the creation of an educational wildlife area.

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