The Trustees announce the resignation of Duncan Souster as Chief Executive of the Jubilee Sailing Trust, with effect from December 31st 2019.
Duncan has been both a visionary and a tireless leader of the JST since his appointment in September 2014 and, prior to this, he was a Trustee for eight years during which he was an active and passionate advocate for our mission. I am delighted to say that Duncan has agreed that he will remain closely involved with the JST and all its activities as he embarks on a new career in financial services.
During his tenure, Duncan has led the Trust through the most exceptional of times and many of the major developments have been at his instigation including our securing UN Accreditation, delivering our first extensive overseas programme, facilitating a £3m initiative to refinance the JST and repay our mortgage on Tenacious and, more recently, delivery of our extensive 40th Anniversary Celebrations and our Emergency Fundraising Appeal.
Under Duncan’s leadership, we have been able to bring new skills into the Trust to make it a more professional and contemporary organisation, in tune with present-day expectations from our donors, partners and regulators. We have also refined the Trust’s mission to ensure we work with the widest possible community, with a new inspiring vision to create “an inclusive world where we can all contribute and feel valued”.
In an undoubtedly difficult fundraising environment, Duncan has overseen solid growth in the JST’s income, which, under his guidance, has increased by in excess of £1m per annum. A passionate believer in the power of collaboration, Duncan has put partnerships at the centre of the Trust’s work, instigating pioneering projects that have raised the JST’s profile and enabled us to work with new communities of beneficiaries – for example, the award-winning 2017 Barclays Round Britain Voyage; The Lord Dannatt Round Britain Challenge; The Cator Trophy; and, ‘Songs on the Sea’ with The Orpheus Trust and Sir Richard Stilgoe, to name but a few.
In parallel, Duncan has helped to significantly grow the JST’s major donor community, launching a Patrons’ Circle and International President programme as the backbone to our major donor fundraising. These initiatives contributed £1.2m during our 40th Anniversary year and will provide a solid, valuable base of on-going support in the future.
No-one could possibly have contributed more in building relationships and, during this year, he has continued to build them for the future. Reflecting this, we are now looking forward to forging new partnerships in the Mediterranean next year with the support of The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and an amazing event with HSH Prince Albert of Monaco, at his Palace, which will be delivered in collaboration with The Yianis Christodoulou Foundation. These will be critical fundraising initiatives as we prepare to meet the costs of Tenacious’ dry docking and special survey.
Despite these efforts and progress on many fronts, the JST has continued to face on-going financial challenges and Duncan and the team have often been under tremendous pressure to ensure the funding needs of the Trust are met. However, through the highs and the lows of the last five years, Duncan has demonstrated immense resilience and unbridled enthusiasm for the JST’s work. We have all been inspired and enthused by his belief in the mission and his endless energy.
The Trustees place on record their debt of gratitude for all that Duncan has achieved and for the leadership he has demonstrated. We know that you will wish to join us in wishing him every possible success in his future career.
Chairman of Trustees