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New chief executive for Aylsham Care Trust

Philip Macdonald has been appointed chief executive of the Aylsham and District Care Trust (ACT) which has been providing care and support for older people in the community for over thirty five years. Tony Rothe reports.

The Trust’s mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of the community in and around Aylsham by connecting older people with each other and provide the necessary support they need to live well.
ACT is a registered charity with Christian ethos and roots founded by Aylsham chemist Rees Coughlan back in 1985. Rees’s son Patrick Coghlan, pastor at Worstead Baptist Church, leads the Trust’s counselling services.
ACT Chair Jenny Manser said, “Philip brings a wealth of experience, and will lead the charity through the challenges that lie ahead, particularly those related to the growing demand for care and support in the community.

“My board and I are pleased to have appointed Philip. We are looking forward to the addition of Philip’s extensive leadership skills and experience to help us formulate and drive our plans. In time Philip will become a familiar figure in and around Aylsham, North Walsham, and the surrounding district. Over the coming months as our plans evolve, with Philip’s help we will be enhancing and developing our services to meet the needs of our community and securing a sustainable future for ACT”. 
Philip was born and brought up near Nottingham and graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a degree in Business Law. He entered the Estate Agency profession and spent thirteen years as Managing Director of a large group, comprising 46 branches throughout Norfolk Suffolk, East Cambridgeshire and North Essex, responsible for house sales, financial services, lettings and new homes, managing a multi-million-pound business.
Philip also has experience in leading and managing operations in other fields, including the design and delivery of leadership and management programmes to help businesses and several well-known Norfolk charities.
He is chair of the board of YMCA Norfolk where he has been a trustee for some eight years, working closely with the executive team to deliver a range of services to support young people and to give them the opportunity to develop, grow and thrive.
Philip says: “I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to join the ACT team and consider it a real privilege to have been asked to lead the organisation on this next part of its journey. ACT is already established in the community and our aim is to continue and to grow our services to improve the well-being of the community in and around Aylsham. It is a great charity which has made it through covid and is committed to developing over these next years. I hope I can steer well and I am excited about all that lies ahead.”
ACT logo 299 ARThe ACT community hub, which includes the popular volunteer-run café, operates a number of services for the local community:

  • LUNCH CLUBS: an opportunity for those who might otherwise be isolated, to meet friends, socialise and get out of the house.
  • TRANSPORT SERVICES: supported minibus transport to the ACT Centre for lunches, or on trips/outings in the local community.
  • VOLUNTEER CAR SCHEME: harnessing the goodwill of our local volunteer community to provide transport for people into the local community and to essential medical appointments.
  • DAY CARE SERVICES: providing support with general day care provision, as well as dementia care sessions, music therapy and other day support
  • SUPPORT IN THE COMMUNITY: delivery of hot nutritious meals and help with light housework, shopping, and companionship
  • COUNSELLING: where trained volunteer counsellors support people with a wide array of difficulties, including the impact of crisis and isolation.

ACT’s biggest priority throughout the Covid pandemic has been to keep older people within the community safe, keep them out of hospital and where possible help them to feel less isolated. For many of them this is their only contact with the outside world.
The ACT Centre is located at St Michaels Avenue, Aylsham, Norfolk, NR11 6YA
Visit the ACT website.


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Tony Rothe, 21/01/2022

Tony Rothe
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