Sean Sutcliffe announced as Launchpad’s new chair

Launchpad has announced the appointment of Sean Sutcliffe as its new chair of trustees.

Sean, who has been a trustee at Launchpad for seven years, pledges to bring his experience in leadership for growing businesses to the role, and aims to continue developing Launchpad’s services and reaching more people in need. He has worked as a director and chief executive for tech businesses for over 15 years, and is currently heading up Oxford Space Systems, a global leader of deployable antennas for space. Before joining Launchpad, Sean was also a trustee of Practical Action, an international development charity that uses technology to tackle poverty. 

The Chair is the most senior volunteer role at Launchpad and is responsible for providing effective strategic leadership and management to our board of trustees, and they work in partnership with our CEO. Sean was elected into the role by our eight other trustees in December 2021, when Suzanne Stallard stepped down after three years in the position. Suzanne will continue as vice-chair on the board.

In accepting the role, Sean said: “It is a real privilege to be taking on the role of chair at Launchpad, and exciting to be doing so at such a pivotal time for the charity. The last two years have been challenging for Launchpad – fundraising has been a struggle and it was imperative we remained open to ensure people in housing crisis received the support they desperately needed.

“Although we continue to live in uncertain times, I am confident that we are through the worst and can now focus on building on our successes. I have seen the tremendous difference that Launchpad makes to people who are homeless or at risk of losing their home and whether it is through our new work and life skills centre, Launchpad 135; with our supported housing; or through our floating support, legal and drop-in services – we want to reach more vulnerable people in Reading. As chair, I aim to help Launchpad chart a path that achieves this in an imaginative and bold way, while recognising the responsibilities we have to, and the trust placed in us by, all our stakeholders.”

Su Hamblyn, Launchpad’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted Sean has been elected as chair at Launchpad. He brings a real passion for the cause, significant experience in growing and leading small businesses, and an innovative approach. I look forward to working with him to develop our services and champion the amazing work Launchpad’s staff and volunteers do to prevent homelessness in Reading.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Suzanne Stallard for her term as chair of trustees at Launchpad, and for her skills and expertise in leading the charity – particularly through a global pandemic.”

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