GroceryAid has confirmed the appointment of Ruston Smith as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees. Ruston, Group Pensions and Insurable Risk Director at Tesco, is taking over from Chris Etherington, Deputy Executive Chairman at Palmer & Harvey.

Ruston Smith.

Chris Etherington played a key instigating and ongoing role in the merger between Sweet Charity (Confectioners Benevolent Fund) and Caravan (National Grocers Benevolent Fund). He was previously Chair of the Sweet Charity Trustee Board and took up the role of Chair of the GroceryAid Trustee Board on completion of the merger in September 2012.

We would like to thank Chris for his outstanding leadership and the valuable contribution made as Chair of the Trustees Board during the past five years. Steve Barnes, GroceryAid Chief Executive, added; “Chris has done an amazing job in ensuring people who served our industry get all the support they merit when they fall on hard times. Both at Sweet Charity and since the formation of GroceryAid, Chris has made an outstanding contribution. The generosity with his time and his calm and astute advice has transformed what we are able to do for beneficiaries.”

“I’ve really enjoyed my time on the Board and I’m delighted to say I am leaving with the Charity in very safe hands,” commented Chris Etherington.

Ruston Smith who takes over as Chairman of the Trustee Board, has worked in the industry for over 25 years and has had a long association with the charity. He joined the Board of Trustees in 2008, and became Vice Chairman in 2016. He has also been a member of the Welfare Strategy Group since 2008, and Chairman of this group from 2010.


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