Farewell Jen

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Our Chief Executive Officer has announced plans to hand over the reins this year.

Jen McKevitt, who has been at the helm of our work in Hendon and Sunderland’s East End, will step down from her role as CEO in March, with deputy chief executive officer Joanne Cooper announced as her successor. 

Jen, who has led our organisation for ten years – and before that led the New Deal for Communities project that ushered in Back on the Map’s formation – believes the charity is on a firm footing for the next ten years and beyond, with Jo stepping up to build on the legacy she leaves behind.

Back on the Map was set up to enhance the quality of life of people living and visiting Hendon and the East End of Sunderland.  Based on resident feedback, the charity works to improve housing conditions and improve local people’s quality of life, creating a better place, a stronger community and ensuring residents have an influencing role, giving them control over the area they call home.

Jen said: “It’s been the honour of my life to serve Hendon and the East End in my role as Chief Executive of Back on the Map.  It’s a charity that – there can be no doubt – has delivered a stronger, more resilient, and more prosperous community through its varied work and that makes me so proud.

“This year marks ten years since Back on the Map was formed and it feels like an appropriate time to pass responsibility on to Jo, who has the knowledge, skills, and passion to continue the incredible work with this vital organisation, that makes such a difference to Hendon and the East End, but more importantly to the people we work with.”

She added: “I am so proud to have played a part in making such a difference to so many lives in an area of Sunderland that deserves only the best.  I wish Jo the very best of luck and I have no doubt she will build on the amazing success of Back on the Map, with the backing of the charity’s talented team and board.”

Jen will begin the process of handing over responsibility to Joanne, who has also been at the charity for ten years, having stepped up to her deputy CEO role in 2018.

Julie Gray, chair of Back on the Map, said: “Jen will leave an incredible legacy when she leaves us in March, and we wish her the absolute best of luck for the future.  Many hundreds of residents in Hendon and the East End have been touched by the work of Back on the Map over the last ten years, and that is testament to Jen’s work as CEO, and the brilliant team she has assembled. 

“We’re very proud that Jo, who has been a key part of that team during Jen’s tenure, is now stepping into the role of chief executive and we look forward to supporting her to ensure that Back on the Map continues to have a transformational impact on the people and communities we serve.”