04 August 2022

The Hull and East Yorkshire (HEY) Smile Foundation has announced that Andy Barber is to step down as its chief executive after fourteen years in charge at the charity.

Under his leadership, and to the credit of everyone at the organisation, Smile has grown its reputation and reach across the region and beyond.  From its roots as an events-focused charitable foundation, Smile now manages a diverse portfolio of programmes and activities that reach thousands of people in need. During the pandemic, Smile was at the heart of the region’s emergency response including the co-ordination of community hubs and volunteer support for the vaccination programme.  

Founder of Smile, Jim Dick OBE, said: “I want to thank Andy for his passion, energy, and tireless work over the last fourteen years. Whilst the whole Board of Trustees and I are sad to lose Andy, it is clear, that thanks to his drive and commitment, Smile has an amazing future ahead.  

“As a charity, we have developed strong relationships across the region in both the public and private sector. With a dynamic Board of Trustees and a talented team across the organisation, Smile is an exceptionally well-run organisation, and the next chief executive will inherit a highly motivated group of colleagues and supporters. 

“The recruitment process for our next chief executive will begin shortly, and I look forward to seeing the next phase of our charity’s journey.” 

Smile has developed a reputation as a trusted pair of hands, capable of delivering services for organisations including councils and the NHS, which it does alongside other work. 

Andy Barber says he will leave Smile with a heavy heart, but knows the charity has plans in place that support the region and its own strategy for growth. 

He said: “I have enjoyed every minute of my time here and am proud of everything we have achieved as a team over the past 14 years.  

“Our focus at Smile has always been on equipping the region with the tools and confidence to face the future with strength. During the pandemic, we saw how a strong charity sector, with the support of public and private sector partnerships can deliver truly amazing results. It’s been a privilege to play a part in making that happen. 

“Smile is in its strongest position ever, and well positioned to support communities through the testing cost of living crisis, statutory service pressures, and the demand for businesses to invest in communities in these times.  Smile is not a charity that is led by an individual, but a solid and trusted organisation with outstanding leadership at board level as well as throughout our senior leads and operational teams and I look forward to seeing Smile continue to flourish.” 

Andy is to take up the position of chief executive at Beverley Consolidated Charity later this year. He has been acting as interim CEO for the charity since June 2021 alongside his Smile role. 

Andy’s departure coincides with the delayed change of the Foundation’s chair. Jim Dick signalled his intention to step down from the role as chair of Smile’s board in 2019 but agreed to stay on and steer Smile through the pandemic. He formally stood aside at a full board meeting last week. Jim’s replacement is to be Trish Dalby, the former deputy chief executive of Hull City Council. Trish, who retired in 2019, brings a wealth of experience to Smile.  She is a champion of Hull and the East Riding, as well as humanitarian causes and is a great supporter of arts and culture. 

She said: “I am excited to be taking on the role of chair at such a pivotal time for Smile. Together Andy and Jim have built a charity that undertakes an enormous amount of life-changing work. I would like to pay tribute to both Andy and Jim, for the service they have given to our region and our communities; together they have built an exceptionally strong team at Smile, and the Foundation has vision, integrity and depth; it is trusted because it does the right thing for the right reasons, helping people and organisations to be the very best they can be.  It is such a privilege to be part of the Smile team and I am thrilled to be Smile’s new chair as we look to the changing landscape of needs in Hull and East Riding, building on the superb foundations laid by Jim and Andy.” 

Jim Dick has become Smile’s Life President as the charity opens a new chapter.  

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