A new chief executive has been announced for children’s charity The Archie Foundation, following a “devastating” year where it effectively had to “start from scratch”.
The organisation, which supports children’s hospitals in Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee, suffered a 67% fall in income compared to 2019.
As the pandemic took hold and fundraising slowed, the charity also found itself with more people in desperate need of help.
A number of its key roles and services were also placed at risk as a result of the cash flow concerns.
The Archie Foundation has been without a chief executive since the departure of David Wood in August.
It has now announced Paula Cormack will take up the position with immediate effect.
She joined the charity last January as fundraising director and said she could not have predicted the year which would follow.
“To say it was different to what I expected is something of an understatement,” Mrs Cormack said.
“2020 was incredibly hard for all of us and for a charity like Archie, which had been heavily reliant on high profile, large scale fundraising events, the pandemic was devastating.
“We had to rip up all our plans for the year and start from scratch.”
Mrs Cormack’s early career was spent in sales and marketing, holding posts in the food and drink sector at firms including Edrington and Marine Harvest.
In 2016 she started working for Maggie’s Centres, as fundraising manager of its Aberdeen facility.
There, she introduced the highly-successful annual Culture Crawl, which has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.
She said: “I watched the new children’s hospital being built in Aberdeen, then the growth of Archie as it extended support across Grampian and then into the Highlands and Tayside.
“I’ve always had huge admiration for Archie and it has been a privilege and a joy to join such a great team.
“Seeing first-hand the difference we make for local families is incredibly rewarding and it is a real honour to take up this new role in leading the charity.”
It provides funding for key staff members and emergency grants to help families in crisis.
Chairman Joe Mackie said: “In the 20 years I’ve been involved with the charity, never have I known such a challenging fundraising environment.
“The Archie team, including our board of trustees, have worked incredibly hard to steer the charity through these turbulent times and we are greatly indebted to everyone who has rallied round to ensure the charity continues to be here for everyone who needs us.”