21st Nov 2019

Robin Fry, Chief Executive of VODA

A leading figure in the region’s charity sector is joining the board of the Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Robin Fry, who is chief executive of Voluntary Organisations Development Agency – VODA – in North Tyneside, was elected by the Foundation’s members. He joins a 12-strong trustee body comprising leaders from the fields of philanthropy, business, the public sector and charities.

Robin Fry has worked and volunteered in the charity sector throughout his career. He has been with North Tyneside VODA since 2001 and became its chief executive in 2018. He is responsible for leading VODA’s development and ensuring that the interests of the borough’s voluntary and community organisations are represented locally, regionally and nationally. A native of North Tyneside, before joining VODA Robin worked as a youth officer and marketing assistant for the RSPB.

On joining the Community Foundation’s board, Robin said: “Becoming a Trustee of the Community Foundation provides me with a great opportunity to reflect the views of the many small and micro groups that make a huge difference to the lives of people across Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. The services provided by these groups are needed more than ever and the Community Foundation has a vital role to play as both a funder and a supporting partner. I’m looking forward to being able to contribute to the continuing success and development of such an important and well-respected organisation.”

Unusually for a charitable grant-maker, the Community Foundation has a membership structure which ensures it is accountable to the area it serves. Members comprise individuals, businesses, public bodies and voluntary organisations. Each group elects or appoints trustees, with others co-opted to add their expertise to the Board.

Fiona Cruickshank, Chair of the Community Foundation, said: “Charities of all types are increasingly challenged about how connected they are to the communities they serve. At the Community Foundation, our open membership structure gives us that accountability. It also means our Board of trustees draws on talented people from across all sectors. So, I’m delighted that Robin has been elected to our Board. I know we will benefit greatly from his experience and knowledge of the small, local charities that we are here to support through the generosity of our donors.”

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