CEO Susannah steps down in August.

Wed, 2021-07-14 13:43
Susannah's story

Sadly, the team here at the Partnership are preparing to say a fond farewell to Susannah who is stepping down as Chief Executive after 25 years of dedicated service.

It has been a labour of love for Susannah who has been with the Partnership since its inception in 1996, navigating the charity into a broad multi-sector organisation with a portfolio of projects celebrating and conserving the heritage of the Bay.

Born and brought up in Bolton, Susannah was a student of geology when her family moved to Grange over Sands. Although a young, keen eco-activist, she went on to work for Shell International Exploration for 7 years where she was able to indulge her fascination for geology. Her passion for nature and conservation led her to leave the corporate world to Edinburgh University. Here she gained a Masters Degree in Resource Management focussing on community involvement in environmental projects and conflict resolution. Little did she know that her dissertation based on a marine nature reserve at Loch Sween using the early work of the Morecambe Bay strategy, would lead to her life calling.

Renowned for her warm and friendly approach, she has been instrumental in achieving significant growth in delivery and influence at the Partnership which began life as a ‘touchstone’ organisation bringing together disparate stakeholders to find solutions to common issues across the Bay.

Listen below to hear Susannah tell the story of the Partnership’s origins and how its first big Heritage Lottery bid was won working closely with the community for the Headlands to Headspace project. Its success paved the way to a broad spectrum of projects delivered over subsequent years right up to the present.

Here the story of the Partnership's origins and how the Headlands to Headpsace project bid was won.

Susannah says “Among my many happy memories is the launch of the Bay Cycle Way in 2015 when a long-standing dream turned into reality, and the opening of the SHIP sculpture and Horizon Line Chamber in Heysham and Sunderland Point when these reflective works took their place in the Bay’s landscape.  Perhaps what I hold most fondly are all the friendships and extraordinary support of so many volunteers and supporters, getting involved in beach cleans, conservation work, archaeological recording and oral histories and want to thank all our volunteers, partners and funders.”

With her daughter Mimi off to university, Susannah had set her sights on volunteering overseas before the pandemic but lots of adventures closer to home are now on the cards. Curlew conservation is a mission to be continued so we are likely to welcome Susannah back as a volunteer.

"It's been the most wonderful job - and I have loved it. There’s been lots of challenge but I’ve enjoyed enormous support from the very best colleagues and our volunteers. The communities around the Bay have been terrific and I am so touched by the huge number of very kind messages from hundreds of people over the last few weeks. I have one last ask of everyone – please support the work of the Partnership so it continues to thrive in the future. We rely on your donations.

You can care for curlews, improve disabled access and celebrate and share the stories of the people who shaped the Bay and share your love of this most special place – Morecambe Bay”

You can make a gift here.

Chair of Trustees Tom Burditt, said “Susannah is a hugely passionate, dynamic and well-respected champion for everything and everyone in or related to the Bay and we’re going to miss her immensely. We’d love for you to join us on a nostalgic trip down memory lane by sharing memories of Susannah, the Partnership and the Bay from the last 25 years on our social channels over the next few weeks".

Susannah’s last day at the Partnership is 13 August and we’ll be announcing news of the new CEO before then.

Here's just a few of the lovely comments we've been receiving:

Gill Haigh, Managing Director for Cumbria Tourism,
“I’ve had the pleasure to work with Susannah for many years, as a partner and trustee. Susannah’s dedication to and passion for Morecambe Bay and it’s communities has been simply outstanding. Morecambe Bay has a bright bright future as a destination, a place to live and work and as a special environment for us all to treasure. That is in no small part Susannah’s legacy.”

Keith Sykes, Wyre-Lune Sanctuary Committee, Wildfowler
"It is sad to learn of Susannah's imminent departure from the group, I have valued and admired her fairness, respectfulness, tolerance and balanced views, she will be a hard act to follow."

David and Noelene Shore, Volunteers
"You have given a voice to ordinary people around the Bay who have a story to tell, you have built an organisation which is not full of starched shirts.” 

Caroline Salthouse, North West Coastal Forum
"Susannah will always be remembered as a force of nature - impossible to resist her ideas and energy and always a power for good."

Alex O’Toole, Fable Arts
"For 25 plus years, you’ve shaped Morecambe Bay and what a legacy you leave. I have no doubt that you, and all of your wisdom, knowledge and experience will be sorely missed, not just by Morecambe Bay Partnership but by all the partners that you work with and the people working on the initiatives that you have driven forward."

Steve Moore, Environment Agency on Twitter
"You're leaving an amazing organisation having done so much for your local environment and communities. You should be proud."

Justina Ma, Business Manager, Marketing Lancashire,
"Susannah has quite simply been a force for change who will be missed enormously."


News Highlights

Baby Birds of the Bay Need Our Help to Survive the Summer

As the summer holidays begin and beaches become busier, beach-nesting birds struggle to protect their families.

CEO Susannah steps down in August.

Sadly, the team here at the Partnership are preparing to say a fond farewell to Susannah who is stepping down as Chief Executive after 25 years of dedicated service.

Have you heard? The 1000th dormouse has now been introduced to the UK in Morecambe Bay.

You might remember the humble dormouse as a sleepy, fairy tale icon which was once widespread throughout the UK.


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