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Final Whistle Blows For Alan Shearer Centre Pioneer

8 years ago

Many of you will be aware of the great work carried out by the Alan Shearer Centre and its dedicated fundraising arm, The Alan Shearer Foundation.

However, what most of you probably don’t know, is that the Alan Shearer Centre is just one part of an even bigger success story.

‘Austin Alongside Alan Shearer and Ant & Dec’

St Cuthberts Care is the umbrella organisation responsible for initiating the great work at the Alan Shearer Centre, as well as a host of other positive initiatives in the region.

Now the man who has led this great asset to the region, Austin Donohoe, is hanging up his boots as Chief Executive of St.Cuthberts Care after almost twenty years heading up this top charity.

After nearly two decades at the helm of St Cuthberts Care, Chief Executive, Austin Donohoe, is set to retire next week.

The troubleshooting chartered accountant was appointed in 1996 to help turn around the financial fortunes of Catholic Care North East, as the charity was then known. Now, thanks to Austin, St Cuthberts Care is one of the largest and most successful care charities in the region with services across Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham.

“Austin has been an outstanding Chief Executive. His appointment was exceptional,” says St Cuthberts Care patron, businessman Mike Browne.

“Over the years, Austin has re-branded and re-shaped the charity’s fostering and children’s residential services, plus revolutionised disability provision in the North East. The Alan Shearer Centre and more latterly, its dedicated fundraising arm, the Alan Shearer Foundation, were pioneered by Austin; he led the largest fundraising campaign in the history of the charity and in 2006 succeeded in raising £1.5million, in just over a year, to make his vision a reality. Eight years on, this unique Centre remains the only one of its kind in our region. These are all truly remarkable achievements.” 

More recently, Austin saved Holy Cross home in Sunderland from closure, further strengthening the charity’s residential nursing provision for older people.

Moira Ashman, St Cuthberts Care Deputy Chief Executive, adds:

“We are a charity of action and outcomes. The merits of Austin’s work are tangible and real for all to see. Our specialist high risk services now pay for our entire overhead. This allows every penny of donated income to be spent on our charitable community work, enabling us to support the most marginalised and impoverished people in our society.”

Austin commented:

“Because our work is entirely with those who are vulnerable or in need, because we work with the very young, the very old and all ages in between, our work is never finished. It will always be a work in progress.

“It’s also important that no matter who leaves or joins the charity, its work is undiminished. That’s why I’m happy to be handing over to Tim Dillon. I know he shares the ethos that makes St Cuthberts Care unique.”

The celebration to mark Austin’s retirement after 20 years in charge of the charity will take place at Holy Cross home on Wednesday 30 April.

To find out more about the great work carried out by St Cuthberts Care click HERE and for the Alan Shearer Centre click HERE.

If you would like to help the fundraising work at the Alan Shearer Foundation visit HERE.


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