John Tizard has stepped down as chair of the National Association for Voluntary and Community Action (Navca), seven months after taking up the position.
Tizard is stepping down this week to enable him to be more forthright in his commentating, political and campaigning activities.
He was elected as chair at the end of last year, narrowly beating Rita Chadha to the role.
He said it had been a “privilege” to be involved with Navca for almost nine years, first as a trustee from 2010 to 2016, then as an honorary adviser, before becoming chair last December.
But Tizard said that now he has stood down he will be able to offer more support and further challenge in other ways.
He said: “Over the last six months, I have visited over 25 Navca members and met many others. Each time, I have consistently been impressed by their commitment their impact, and their willingness to change.
“I have come away from these visits, further convinced of the need not only to argue the case for local infrastructure with still greater vigour, but also and more fundamentally to promote social justice and equality, and radically challenge the structural and policy barriers to equality, fairness and opportunity; and sometimes to challenge and nudge the sector too.
“I am absolutely of the view that the time for such action has never been greater than now.
“Accordingly, I plan to continue to pursue this agenda with added determination as a commentator and activist.”
Process of recruitment begins
Tizard thanked Navca members for their “support and comradeship” and said the organisation is well placed to support them following the publication of its new three-year strategy in March.
Alison Semmence, vice-chair of Navca, thanked Tizard for “all his years of service” to the organisation.
She said: “During his involvement with Navca, John has maintained a resolute and relentless focus upon the interests of Navca’s members and the communities which they serve right across England.
“We know members will be sorry to see him stand down, but we hope that they will fully understand and support his integrity and purpose in doing so.
“Indeed, we are in no doubt that with his new focus, John will continue to support and complement Navca’s objectives, programmes and activities.
“We can assure all our members and sector partners that Navca has a clear vision for the future, a strong board and an excellent staff team. We are confident of Navca’s ability to thrive and build on the good work that has been done in recent years.”
Navca’s board of trustees are now undertaking a process of recruiting a new chair.