After an exciting and challenging 4 years leading Inspire!, Jonny Boux has stepped down as Director. We are now delighted to welcome Sue Maskrey as our new Chief Executive. Sue joined us from mentoring charity Brightside and will be leading our strategy over the coming years.
We sat down with Sue to find out more about her background and ambitions for Inspire!:
Tell us a bit about your previous work
“I’ve always been driven by the desire to support people to succeed, so throughout my career I’ve worked in roles which enabled me to do that. I began my career in Exeter University’s Employability team, encouraging young people to aspire to higher education. I was lucky enough to move into the charity sector some years later, and spent 13 years at education charity Brightside, who support thousands of young people through online mentoring. In a growing organisation, I was able to try my hand at all aspects of running a charity, from project management and income generation, through to innovation and developing teams. Acting as Interim Chief Executive for Brightside set me up well to take on the challenge of leading Inspire!.”
What made you want to join the Inspire! team?
“Growing up, I struggled to believe in my own academic and career potential. As one of the first in my family to go to university, I felt really proud of achieving my psychology degree. I was lucky enough to have support and encouragement from my friends and family, so wanted to help others overcome barriers and believe in their own talent.
Inspire! is such a great example of outreach work, delivered by a passionate and talented team. So I was very excited to take on the challenge of leading the organisation!”
What’s your impression of Inspire! so far?
“Our name might sound a bit cheesy, but I’ve found it’s so appropriate to our team and work! We employ people from lots of different backgrounds – from DJs to actors, to artists, to born-to-be-project managers! But everyone’s brought together by a commitment to making young people’s futures the best they can be.
Those who set up and developed Inspire! have created a very special organisation. I’m delighted to be taking over from Jonny, who got us to a great place from which to move onto our next phase.
There’s still lots to do: we need to take the Inspired Directions School to the next level, develop our outreach work and communicate its impact as clearly as we can.”
What do you think are the biggest challenges we’re facing?
“Like any charity, we need to innovate to stay relevant to young people’s needs. Recent political changes will have a big impact, so we need to stay agile and respond to different funding and education landscapes.”
What are you most looking forward to?
“We’re currently putting together a new three-year strategy for next April. I’m excited to see what we can achieve in the coming years, with a refreshed focus!”