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A warm welcome to Gill…

A warm welcome to Gill as chief executive Diane says ‘yes’ to a move abroad

Many of you will know that our fabulous chief executive, Diane Roberts, is leaving us in the new year – to start a new life in Greece!

Diane has been the face of yes since we began in 2013 and she will be hugely missed by clients, colleagues and partners.

But we want to let you know that life at yes will be carrying on as usual from our three centres, guided by new chief executive Gill Cook.

If you pop into yes between December and February, chances are you’ll bump into Gill and Diane as the pair are working together for a few weeks to ensure a smooth handover.

Gill, who has worked in the voluntary and community sector for more than 20 years, said: “I’m really excited to be taking up this role, supporting lots more people into employment, and becoming part of the fantastic yes family.”

“Diane and the team have done such an amazing job over the last six years and I hope I can bring some of my experiences to support further growth, build on the innovative services they are delivering, and help to access a wide range of funding to continue the yes journey far into the future.”

Gill is an experienced senior leader and has held a variety of frontline and leadership roles, both in business development and operational services, with a focus on helping people.

Diane will officially leave us at the end of February and is looking forward to her new life in Greece.

But there are bound to be a few tears shed before she jets off after a memorable six years in north Manchester – or 13 years if you include the seven years at Northwards Housing before joining yes.

In that time, Diane has overseen the growth of yes from one centre in Newton Heath to three bases.

Hundreds of people have got jobs and training opportunities thanks to yes, and many more have been able to start their own businesses.

Another achievement has been building successful relationships with more than 50 partners and funders.

Diane said: “My time at yes has been an incredible journey and I’m so proud of everything we’ve achieved together.

“None of it would have been possible without the support of our dedicated staff and volunteers who care so much about every one of our clients.

“It’s been a joy to watch clients and new businesses grow and flourish, and take their first steps on their own journeys.

“I’m going to miss everyone but I wish Gill every success in the role and I know yes is in safe hands.”

Anne Taylor, chair of the yes board, said: “On behalf of the board, I’d like to thank Diane for her dedicated service and for expertly overseeing not only the birth of yes but also its growth and development into an employment service which puts each individual at the centre of its service.

“We’ll all miss Diane but we’re delighted that Gill is joining us to continue this fantastic work and the board is looking forward to working with her.”

Pictured: Gill and Diane outside yes Collyhurst