Following months of research and interviews a new chief executive has been appointed at Northamptonshire charity and social enterprise Teamwork Trust.
Helen Burdett-Wright, who joined Teamwork in March, was officially introduced as the new CEO at Teamwork’s recent ‘New Beginnings Celebration event’, where she pledged the organisation’s commitment to meeting the county’s soaring demand for health, wellbeing and social care services.
Before securing the role Helen was interviewed by service users – who help steer Teamwork Trust and take an active role in everything from recruitment and planning to the education programme and employment and volunteering opportunities.
“The most nerve-wracking part of my recruitment was the final stage, being interviewed by the service users,” said Helen. “Donald showed me around, then Michael formally interviewed me. He really put me through my paces. I’m now a few weeks into the job and every day our service users surprise and impress me – they are so perceptive, so intuitive.”
Helen, previously head of Northampton based Workbridge, added: “What really excites me about my new role is making great service user led improvements, tailored to suit individual aspirations. This varies Teamwork’s offer even more and opens up new opportunities.
“There are so many new things our service users want to explore, and skills they want to develop. Perhaps they haven’t yet because of covid, but now is the time to do this in order to maximise independence, health and well-being. I also want to see us working and engaging more with the community and building collaborative partnerships.”
Service user Michael said: “I really enjoyed the experience of interviewing the candidates for the CEO Job. It made me feel valued. It is so good that Teamwork involves us in these important decisions and listen to our views.”
Donald added: “I love coming to Teamwork and I like it when I am given responsible jobs to do, it makes me feel happy.”
Helen has ambitious plans for Teamwork’s wellbeing services.
“Teamwork not only supports its service users but also has a strong offering for the local community link, which has arguably never been more important,” added Helen. “As we emerge from covid people will inevitably be struggling with their mental health and we have a counselling service to help people from all walks of life as well as a wellbeing hub.”
Helen, originally from London, has lived in Northampton for nearly 15 years. Her first jobs were in travel – as the branch manager of a travel company and later as cabin crew and then sales for Virgin Atlantic.
She took voluntary redundancy after 911, soon after moving into the charity sector. Underpinning all this has been more than 20 years working as well as volunteering for mental health organisations.
Teamwork Trust is a Northamptonshire charity and social enterprise that supports autistic adults, people with learning disabilities and individuals with mental health needs. The organisation has three sites – in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough – and Helen is working from all three.
For more information on Teamwork Trust visit: www.teamworktrust.co.uk