The Pear Tree Fund’s first chief executive has spoken of his excitement at taking on the role and leading the much-loved charity into its next chapter so that it can support even more people with life-limiting illnesses.
Kevin Vaughan, who lives in Norfolk, took up his new post on Thursday (13 May). He brings with him a wealth of experience after working for a variety of voluntary and charitable organisations, including Equal Lives, Parkinson’s UK, Norfolk Carers and VoiceAbility. Kevin also spent several years at Voluntary Norfolk, where he helped to bring in £1.5m worth of new business per year while managing its health and social care services.
In his spare time, Kevin has held volunteer trustee positions with two national charities, including as treasurer of the National Centre for Independent Living, where he helped to create Disability Rights UK through a merger with two other charities. He was also interim chair of Norwich-based Musical Keys, which provides music and arts activities for people with disabilities and additional needs.
Kevin was inspired to apply for the role at the Pear Tree Fund after hearing Dr Richard Kell, its former chair, speak passionately about the charity at a Motor Neurone Disease Association event at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital in 2018.
“I am delighted to have become the Pear Tree Fund’s first ever chief executive,” said Kevin. “The charity is much-loved by the local community and does some incredibly valuable work. It is a privilege to lead the fund as it begins the next chapter of its development, and to have the opportunity to build on the legacy of Dr Kell and the charity’s founders.
“My first priority will be to review our business model to see whether it needs adapting following the COVID-19 pandemic, before working with trustees to look at where our focus should lie in the future. We will be exploring whether we should introduce additional services at the Pear Tree Centre while also finding ways to grow our volunteering base. I am also keen to see what we can do to reach people living in isolated rural communities while continuing to raise the profile of the charity.
“The work which everyone involved with the Pear Tree Fund has done so far is just amazing. They have achieved so much, from providing vital care in the last days of life to raising money to build the Pear Tree Centre and overseeing construction. I am really looking forward to working closely with our trustees, staff and the local community to build on these strong foundations so that we can reach even more people in the future and provide them with vital support when they need it the most.”
Dr Kevin MacLusky, Pear Tree Fund chairman, said: “We are really pleased to welcome Kevin to the Pear Tree Fund as our first ever chief executive. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience, together with strong contacts within healthcare and the third sector, which will prove invaluable as we begin writing the next chapter in the charity’s history.”