SWINDON-BASED charity and social enterprise Phoenix Enterprises has appointed a new CEO to spearhead the next phase of its growth.

Clare McDougall comes from an accountancy and project management background, and has built a career focused on sustainability and community engagement.

She spent more than 10 years running energy company Npower’s community programme, including its partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, which is valued by the charity at over £10 million.

Phoenix Enterprises works with vulnerable adults and aims to help people suffering from learning disabilities and mental health problems find a pathway to meaningful employment.

It helps introduce people to the world of work by involving them in its packaging and hand assembly business, while coaching, giving confidence and employability skills.

As many households face a cost of living crisis, Clare has stepped into her new role at a challenging time for the charity.

She said: “Like all the charities in Swindon, at Phoenix we are going to have to be increasingly inventive during this really tough time, with people and small businesses hit hard by increasing prices at every turn.

"Phoenix relies on income from packaging and assembly jobs, donations and fundraising - and the people and small businesses who help us will be struggling too.

"My vision is to build real partnerships with local businesses, where we do assembly or other small jobs for them, their employees volunteer by sharing their skills, and we create exciting fundraising events together.

"Swindon has an amazing community ethos and I know it’s going to be great fun as well as hard work.”

Chairman Mark Nielsen adds, “Each year we give real and meaningful help to around 80 people in Swindon.

"Approximately half do a short stint with us and then go on to use the skills and confidence they’ve gained in other roles.

"For the other 40, who may be particularly vulnerable, it’s the feelings of self-worth and the spirit of friendship and community they gain at Phoenix that’s invaluable to them.

"The trustees and I are truly delighted Clare is joining us and we are confident her passion and vision will guide Phoenix through the challenges that lie ahead.”

Businesses with mailing, packaging or hand assembly requirements, or other small routine jobs that could be done offsite, are urged to contact the charity through the website www.phoenixenterprises.co.uk

Volunteers or fundraisers who are willing to support them should get in touch.

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