Chief of rural community support charity steps down


Richard Quallington, chief executive of the rural support charity Action with Communities in Rural England, has stepped down after eight years in the role.

The charity, which works to address disadvantages faced by those living in rural areas and acts as the national body for the 38 members of the Acre Network of community support charities, said Quallington had made a “tireless contribution” to the organisation and those it supported. 

Quallington said he had no specific plans for the future and said he expected to take some time before exploring his next steps.

Before joining Acre, Quallington was a planner and worked with rural communities on issues including affordable housing, transport and rural services. He was also vice-chair of Acre before taking up the chief executive’s role.

He said: “It has been a great honour to play a small part in Acre’s achievements over the past eight years, including refocusing its work on end beneficiaries, reshaping its role and rebuilding relationships with members, growing and developing our partnership with Defra and other like-minded organisations nationally, and establishing a greater national policy and comms presence on behalf of the Acre network and its beneficiaries.”

James Blake, chair of Acre, said working with Quallington had been a “genuine pleasure”. 

He said: “I am extremely grateful for the tireless contribution he has made to Acre and its beneficiaries.

“He will be leaving the organisation in a better place, with a strong reputation that the new post-holder will be able to build on as we look to the future.”

According to data from the Charity Commission, Acre registered just over £2m in income for the financial year ending March 2022. The charity has six employees listed on its website.

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