Colleagues, volunteers and service users from the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) gathered to honour one of its longest serving employees.
Carol Gaskarth joined the health and wellbeing charity in 2003 as a project co-ordinator, managing a range of health and wellbeing projects.
From there she progressed from a middle management position to become part of the organisations senior leadership team, becoming business development director in 2007.
Over the years Carol has developed a wealth of experience in strategic project management and business development, which ideally placed her in 2013 when PCP’s founding chief executive stepped down and Carol was offered the position by the board of trustees.
Trustees chair Heather Brewster said: “During Carol’s 20 years of service, she has truly lived PCP’s values of making a difference for communities across the North-East.
“Under Carol’s leadership our health and wellbeing charity has grown substantially.”
Over the past 10 years the people PCP supports has increased from 9,000 to over 81,000, the number of projects has increased from 19 to over 49, turnover has increased from just over £1m to more than £3.3m and volunteer numbers have grown from 57 to over 400.
PCP now also supports over 500 businesses through health, wellbeing and learning interventions.
This has been achieved by the expansion of projects and services, to support local communities and expanding operations into new geographic areas, beyond County Durham, into Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Sunderland.
To enable PCP to grow, Carol has developed and built the skills and capacity of the charity and its team, including trustees, staff and volunteers”.
Carol is supported by a dedicated senior leadership team and staff at PCP, including the newly-appointed deputy chief executive, Liz Fisher.
She said: “Carol has been instrumental in shaping PCP into the community focused charity it is today. I am thrilled to honour her milestone achievement and bring staff, volunteers, and some of the people PCP support to celebrate Carol’s achievement.”
Carol said: “It was wonderful to see some of the people PCP support, friends and supporters come together to celebrate my 20 years of service.
“It’s been fantastic to see PCP grow and develop as a charity.”