The last nine months have been extraordinarily busy for Young Enterprise. Last summer, we recognised a need to bring the various regional charities in England and Wales closer together. Last night, at midnight, a merger took place, meaning that there is now one Young Enterprise for England and Wales, rather than a collection of autonomous charities. Scotland and Northern Ireland continue as independent entities, licensed to the UK organisation.
This change will allow us to offer services consistently across England and Wales, will enable us to run under a more streamlined management structure than before and should ensure that we will be able to serve our schools and busineses more efficiently.
I have discovered that co-ordinating a merger of 11 different charities, even those in the smae family, is a challenging task. It has been important (and will continue to be important) to spend a considerable amount of time with volunteer and staff colleagues, explaining the impending changes and preparing for the creation of what is, to all intents and purposes, a new charity. We have a new management team and a new Trustee board to appoint.
We will end up with a very strong organisation, well placed to lead British business in its support for the education of young people. I am excited about the future.