The chief executive of a Brighton charity has left after four years in the role.
The Sussex Beacon announced the immediate departure of Kat Williams yesterday (Monday 25 June) and her replacement by Simon Dowe as interim chief executive.
Simon Burgess, chairman of the trustees of the HIV and AIDS charity, said: “The trustees are very grateful to Kat Williams.
“She showed great compassion and commitment in this complex and challenging role.
“During her time with us she successfully expanded the charity’s services and events.
“Our charity like so many others has been facing tough financial challenges but this year’s Brighton Half Marathon was our biggest fundraiser ever and the community have been increasingly rallying round to help us.”
Those challenges have included trying to fund the £1.1 million annual cost of running the 10-bed inpatient unit in Bevendean Road, Brighton.
In the autumn the charity started a £150,000 urgent appeal, having had no rise in statutory funding for three years.
Mr Burgess, a former Labour leader of Brighton and Hove City Council who became chairman of the Beacon’s trustees in October, added: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of interim chief executive Simon Dowe who will, we are sure, build on Kat’s achievements.
“We wish Kat well with her future career.”
Mr Dowe, who will start immediately as interim chief executive said: “I have a passion and empathy for the work of the Sussex Beacon for reasons too numerous to detail.
“However, one important experience was the six years I spent working in South Africa with children and young people living with HIV/AIDS.
“I have been well aware of the leading work of the Sussex Beacon for many years so for me it is a privilege to be able to work alongside the dedicated staff and volunteers at the Sussex Beacon who achieve so much in helping those living with HIV to achieve the quality of life they deserve.”
Mr Dowe started his three-month spell straight away to ensure stability and continued progress in providing the Beacon’s invaluable services, the charity said.
It added that in due course there would be an open recruitment process for the permanent position of chief executive.