A long-serving charity boss plans to step down as CEO of Voluntary Norfolk at the end of May.

After nine years at the helm, Alan Hopley intends to retire and devote time to travelling and volunteering.

Over the course of his tenure, Alan steered the charity in response to the diverse challenges faced by communities across Norfolk, focusing on delivering essential services to those most in need.

Among them, unpaid carers, those struggling with loneliness and social isolation, and users of local health services.

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Additionally, he has ensured the charity remains committed to promoting volunteering and strengthening the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in the county.

Mr Hopley said: “I feel very privileged to have spent the last nine years with Voluntary Norfolk and retain that passion that drives so many of us to try and tackle the inequalities we witness too often.

"I know it inspires us all to make Norfolk a better place to live for everyone.

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“Voluntary Norfolk is in great shape, with a fabulous team of staff, volunteers and trustees and so now is a good time to leave and start some new adventures of my own, including volunteering at home and abroad.

“Whoever is the fortunate person to replace me will be taking on a challenging but hugely rewarding position and will, I am sure, continue to achieve so much with such support in place and opportunities ahead.”

Voluntary Norfolk's importance was amplified during the Covid-19 pandemic with a surge in demand for volunteers to support communities and assist with the vaccine rollout programme.

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John Archibald, chair of Voluntary Norfolk, said: “Serving as a chief executive of a voluntary organisation is a tough job at the best of times.

"Alan rose to that challenge and has navigated Voluntary Norfolk safely through many choppy seas.

"Alan’s legacy will be an organisation that is well placed to meet the challenges of the future."