Plunkett Foundation has announced the resignation of chief executive Peter Couchman after eight years in the role. He is relocating to North Tipperary, Ireland, where he will work as an organic farmer with his fiancé.
The organisation, which supports rural co-ops and social enterprises, says Mr Couchman leaves it “in a strong position with a healthy portfolio of projects and a highly experienced team”.
Its chair, Margaret Clark, said: “Plunkett Foundation has achieved an enormous amount under Peter’s leadership and has been largely responsible for raising the profile of, and support for, community co-operatives in the UK and more widely.
“We wish him the very best for his new life. The trustees remain deeply committed to the organisation and are focussed on achieving a strong future for the vital work of the foundation.”
She also paid tribute to head of development Mike Perry, who left to work for the Worcestershire Wildlife Trust in December. His 10 years at Plunkett saw him expand its activities into new sectors including community pubs and woodlands.
The organisation confirmed it has no immediate plans to replace Mr Couchman or Mr Perry. In the interim, head of frontline James Alcock is to take the role of general manager, supported by head of support Kathryn Morrison and senior finance officer Maurice Edgington to deliver its charitable objectives.
This will allow Plunkett to take stock of its current activities and priorities for the future, said the organisation, while continuing to focus on community projects and services for its members.