Keith Whitton Retires
After 24 years of working at ACT, it is going to be so strange not seeing Keith Whitton around. Jane Simpson, new CEO at ACT says “We’ve been through a lot over the last 15 years together, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank him, on behalf of staff, volunteers, the Board and all our Service Users for all he has done for ACT.”
How has our charity changed during Keith’s time with us?
Our electronic records go back 20 years. In 2001, we had 30 staff and some 40 volunteers. We provided Basic Skills Mentoring to prisoners in HMP Highpoint and Hollesley Bay. We had a small Money Advice Service as well as about 20 units of Supported Housing in Suffolk. We also delivered a Counselling Service to perpetrators of Domestic Abuse in HMP Highpoint.
Moving on 20 years, we have 101 staff and 274 volunteers. Our Housing has grown to some 250 units across Suffolk and Essex, Domestic Abuse has grown to support victims across Suffolk and provide satellite accommodation for victims and their families.
The Appropriate Adult service has expanded into Norfolk, we’ve moved into supporting Rough Sleeping, Syrian Refugees and to providing a much needed Mediation Service for families with children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. Money Advice has grown, and we now work with Ipswich Borough Council tenants and we’re working to develop the service further.
We’re providing Employment Support and Drug and Alcohol Outreach Services, with Housing for those in Recovery. We support young people in care through our Independent Visiting Service, we are moving back into the prisons with the Footsteps Women’s Service in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and we now have a dedicated Service User Involvement officer.
Keith has been key to all of this, leading the management team to produce some knockout tender and grant successes and building relationships with commissioners and other providers to support our growth and success. But most of all, it is great to think of the number of people that have been supported by ACT over the last 24 years and that Keith’s dedication and hard work has been instrumental to all that support. If our records went back that far, we could actually articulate the numbers of people we have helped.
So thank you Keith from all of us at ACT. Please enjoy your retirement.