CDCF Chief Executive's pride at being awarded CBE

19 June 2017

Chief Executive, Barbara Gubbins says she is “proud, humbled and thrilled” after being awarded the CBE.

Barbara Gubbins has served a host of organisations in the region and is currently Chief Executive of the County Durham Community Foundation.

She said: “I’ve had some amazing experiences during my time in the voluntary sector, both as a volunteer and in a paid role. I feel very privileged to have been part of it and hope I’ve made a positive contribution in some way.

“Throughout my career, I’ve enjoyed tremendous support, not least in my present role with County Durham Community Foundation. I am, therefore, deeply honoured to receive the award on behalf of many wonderful colleagues, past and present, who have made such a difference to lives in the North-East.”

Barbara, whose mother comes from a South Hetton mining family, became a magistrate in 1997 in North Tyneside where she lived with her two sons. This inspired her to change her career path as she was so disturbed by the inequalities highlighted in the family courts.

Following 20 years in project management and marketing, she joined the voluntary sector in 1999 as Development Director for the Community Foundation in Newcastle. One of her first projects was to establish the ‘Sunday for Sammy’ concerts in 2000, with Tim Healy and Jimmy Nail, which have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds to support budding performers and writers.

Barbara also worked with Dame Margaret Barbour to set up the Women’s Fund, supporting projects for disadvantaged and vulnerable women, before becoming Chief Executive of The Children’s Foundation.

Barbara moved to County Durham Community Foundation in 2008 and the organisation now manages over 200 charitable funds. The Community Foundation has given out over £33m to good causes in 22 years, including £20m during Barbara’s time as chief executive. She has also overseen a growth in the charity’s long-term endowment fund from £4m to over £13m.

Barbara was a magistrate for 16 years; has been a school governor in Newcastle; a trustee of the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund; a mentor for young people at risk through the Coalition Against Crime; a trustee of VONNE; and had several other unpaid roles.

In 2010, she was awarded the Marks & Spencer Sieff Award by Business in the Community.