Thank you and farewell to David Royce, Chair of Trustees (2015-2023)

Thank you and farewell to David Royce, Chair of Trustees (2015-2023)
Written by Emerging Futures

A warm tribute to our departing Chair of Trustees, David Royce

Emerging Futures wishes to say a fond farewell to David Royce who steps down in March after close on seven years as Chair of Trustees.

David became involved with Emerging Futures in 2013 as strategic advisor to founders Ray Jenkins and Damian Grainer, who had won one of their first significant contracts. A prominent leader in our sector with over 20 years of experience spanning three decades, in his previous role as Chief Executive of CRI (now Change Grow Live) David grew a small charity with a £400,000 turnover to a leading sector player with a £116 million turnover and 2,400 staff. With this invaluable experience, David quickly recognised a need to manage and direct the passion and spirit of our team to get the best for service users.

David has since been pivotal in supporting our development and overseeing the implementation of a business framework and robust systems to guide our growth. Reflecting on his time as Chair, David told us: “I wanted to see Emerging Futures established as a respected presence in the sector. Ray and I had a shared aspiration to grow the organisation whilst retaining a strong vocational culture and resisting the slide toward conventional thinking and behaviours.

“We deliberately adopted ACT principles to guide the important behaviours. This allowed us to mature from a peer-led organisation into a thriving service provider with around 250 colleagues and a stable and sustainable business at £10 million per annum. The latest impact data shows how effective our services are at addressing the needs of vulnerable people with complex needs, helping many to begin the long road back to recovery.

“The best of it for me is that growth has not diluted commitment; colleagues are still expressing their sense of vocation. That commitment must encompass the professional requirement for proper admin, data, supervision reports and so on and not just the bits of the role that first drew us into the career. Although it may sound harsh, ‘caring’ is a good start, but it’s not enough.

“As I look to the future, I hope that Emerging Futures will not falter in its commitment to provide service users with a route toward a recovery filled with a renewed sense of self-esteem. In addition, it is essential that Emerging Futures continues to be the ‘port of entry’ onto a professional career pathway: one that enables people to train, complete their education and pursue a career with the potential for progression and the opportunity to put vocation at the heart of every day.”

Ray Jenkins, Chief Executive of Emerging Futures, said: “David will be hugely missed. I would like to thank him for his passionate stewardship as Chair of Emerging Futures since our inception in 2014. His dedication to providing only the best for service beneficiaries has been unwavering and inspirational. He understands that passion and good intentions must be combined with sound financial management, effective systems and professional skills.

“David has been a demanding mentor over more than 28 years working together. He has challenged and inspired us and delivering his invaluable guidance with a tough love that always kept us on our toes. I will miss his clarity of thought, uncanny ability to ‘read the tea leaves’ and of course, his friendship.”

Friends and former colleagues who wish to keep in touch with David and find out what he will be doing next can contact him at:

David will be ably replaced by incoming Chair Tom Ebbutt in April 2023.


David Royce standing in front of Mount Pico
David Royce, Chair of Trustees 2015-2023