The newly-appointed chief executive of the region’s air ambulance has described his pride at joining the charity.
David Stockton brings decades of experience in the commercial sector to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
Prior to arriving at GNAAS, the 49-year-old ran his own businesses, focussing primarily on healthcare and retail in the Teesside and Tyneside areas. Recently, he also spent five years working at board level within a multi-billion pound company.
The father-of-three, from the Chester-le-Street area, said: “Whether it’s third sector, public sector or private sector, it’s all about getting results through people, aligning our energy and focus, and working efficiently.
“I’m inspired by the work of the air ambulance, and through my interests in motorsport I know just how vital it is. In the short time I’ve been at GNAAS I’ve also been inspired by the talent and passion that already exists within the charity. I’m proud and honoured to be here.”
Mr Stockton said his immediate focus was on helping the charity emerge out of the coronavirus crisis, which is believed to be costing the charity more than £100k a month in lost donations.
“We are facing some short-term challenges, that is for sure,” he said. “Fundraising has been significantly impacted by lockdown and our attention has to be on ramping up our activities in the communities we serve as soon as we can safely do so.
“But beyond that we have an ambition to expand our amazing service so even more people can benefit. My job is about balancing these short-term challenges with our long-term goals.”
Brian Jobling, chairman at GNAAS, said: “This was a hugely sought-after role, and after a very competitive recruitment process we were delighted to appoint David as chief executive.
“It’s a challenging time for all charities – the effect of Covid has been stark on our finances – but David has just the right mix of skills, experience and strength of character to lead this organisation into a bold and bright future.”
Mr Stockton takes over from the charity’s founder Grahame Pickering MBE after the charity announced his departure last month due to health reasons.