GroceryAid puts trust in Ruston

Ruston Smith

GroceryAid has confirmed the appointment of Ruston Smith (pictured) as the new chair of its Board of Trustees. Smith, group pensions and insurable risk director at Tesco, is taking over from Chris Etherington, deputy executive chairman at Palmer & Harvey.

Chris Etherington played a key role in the merger between Sweet Charity (Confectioners Benevolent Fund) and Caravan (National Grocers Benevolent Fund) that created GroceryAid. 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.

Thanking Etherington for his outstanding leadership and valuable contribution heading up the Trustees Board over the last five years, Steve Barnes, GroceryAid chief executive, said: “Chris has done an amazing job in ensuring people who have 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,” added Chris Etherington.

New chair Ruston Smith 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 chair in 2016. He has also been a member of the Welfare Strategy Group since 2008, and chair of this group from 2010.

Commenting on Smith’s appointment, Steve Barnes commented: “We are very much looking forward to working with Ruston who has always been incredibly enthusiastic about what we do. Exciting times lie ahead with GroceryAid under his leadership.”

Ruston Smith said: “I feel incredibly privileged to be appointed Chair of GroceryAid which is a fantastic charitable organisation that, for over 159 years, has helped those in our industry who have fallen on hard times. I would like to thank Chris for the exceptional contribution he has made and I’m really looking forward to working with Steve, the Board and the GroceryAid team to make a real difference for those we’re here to help.”