When I look back on the last 4 years I reflect on the considerable change and transformation at City Gateway. We have successfully hived off, as standalone operations, our OFSTED ‘outstanding’ Alternative Provision school and our Early Years provision. This has enabled us to focus specifically on our mission to serve those individuals directly experiencing long term unemployment in London. As a result, we have driven phenomenal improvements in our work with women and young people and how we support them to achieve their full potential.

In the first 6 months of this year, we enrolled more students than in any full year previously. Covid-19 has obviously had a temporary impact on us as we’ve had to pause delivery of our Route to Work (traineeship) courses and women’s programme courses but we have remained entirely committed to delivering coaching support to our learners throughout this time. Our team has a brilliant understanding of the students we serve and a passionate heart to see them reach their potential, whatever the circumstances.

We have a robust and clearly articulated 3 year plan with an exciting vision and a super team to deliver it. We know where we need to get to and we know how we need to get there. We have successfully moved City Gateway on from the last few years of transformation, to a future of consolidation and the pursuit of excellence in our delivery.

With this exciting future ahead of us, the Trustees and I have been reflecting on what leadership City Gateway needs for this next phase of our journey. As a result of this, I have made the difficult decision that this is the right time to start the search for my successor; someone to succeed me who has expertise to nurture our brilliant staff team and move us to excellence in our student delivery.

My priority is to execute this transition really well and we have a lot of exciting things to do between now and September when it will be an appropriate time for me to step aside as CEO. I will at this point continue on the Board as a Trustee to ensure a smooth transition for my successor.

I am so proud of all that City Gateway and the amazing team has accomplished in the last 4 years. We have built a super staff team, brought real depth and experience to the Board, researched our market, consolidated our finances and our operations, rebranded, relaunched our education delivery model, achieved excellence in outreach and achievement, driven an impact culture, established our Women’s Programme at the heart of the local community, opened a new wonderful office and a fantastic new training site for Young People. Above all, I have been blessed to work with such great friends and colleagues.

I would like to thank all our supporters, funders and partners who give such invaluable support to City Gateway; without you we simply couldn’t have achieved what we have accomplished or what we plan to accomplish in the years to come. I am, as I always have been, completely committed to ensuring our learners are at the heart of what we do, as together we all support these brilliant students to reach their full potential.

Thank you and God bless.