One of the founders of one of West Leeds’ largest charities is stepping down after 27 years with the organisation.
Barca-Leeds has today announced that Mark Law MBE is to retire as its CEO after 27 years of service. He will be succeeded by managing director Helen Hart.
Mr Law was part of the team that formed the original Bramley and Rodley Community Action (Barca) project and has decided to take early retirement. In a statement issued today, he said:
“After 30 years of working in the local area of Bramley and the city of Leeds; with much consideration, I have decided to take early retirement from Barca-Leeds. This will take effect from 31st March 2022.
“The organisation was created out of Bramley Parish Community projects and I am proud to say that I was part of a small team that formed Barca-Leeds which has developed into one of the largest community anchor organisations in the city.
“As founding Chief Executive Officer, it was always my intention to leave the organisation in a strong position, with opportunities for development providing incredible services across the city.
“I am delighted to announce my successor will be Helen Hart. Helen will take on the role of Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1st January 2022 and I will continue to manage transitional arrangements until the end of my employment in March 2022.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish Helen all the best in her new role and I am confident that Barca-Leeds will thrive under her leadership.’
Stewart Firth, chair of the Barca-Leeds trustee board, said:
“I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of myself and the Board of Trustees to thank Mark for his contribution towards the development of Barca-Leeds. The organisation has grown incredibly over the last 27 years which is down to Mark’s leadership with support from his colleagues within the senior management team.
“The Board of Trustees would like to wish Helen Hart congratulations on being successful in the appointment to Chief Executive Officer.
“Helen brings a wealth of experience, is incredibly capable and very well respected by her colleagues, partner organisations and stakeholders.’
Helen Hart has worked for Barca-Leeds for 20 years and began working with us as a student on placement on 2001. She has been part of the Senior Management team since 2010, with her most recent role being Managing Director. She is also a trustee at community led Bramley Baths.
Barca-Leeds was first formed by a group of Bramley residents who wanted to make a difference in their community. As an area of significant deprivation, these local residents could see for themselves the impact that high unemployment and low aspirations were having on their community.
Initially providing services to children, the residents soon started to develop a range of joined-up services for young people, families and adults in the local area and across West Leeds.