KateMarkeyKate Markey is Blue Sky’s new Managing Director, starting her role on 20th April 2015. Kate has a long career in social enterprise. She was previously Deputy Chief Executive of the social enterprise support agency CAN, and Managing Director of its social finance intermediary, CAN Invest. She is also a former Editor of The Big Issue in the North, part of The Big Life Group. Kate also sits on the Advisory Council of Big Society Capital and is a Trustee of the national advocacy charity, VoiceAbility.

She says: “I am thrilled to be joining Blue Sky at such an important time in its journey. The social enterprise has achieved much in creating real jobs for people working hard to turn their lives around.”

Blue Sky creates jobs for ex-offenders in a range of industry sectors including grounds maintenance, waste management, distribution, catering and laundry, and works across London, Thames Valley and the South East. The social enterprise recently employed its 1,000th ex-offender on the back of a significant increase in its commercial contracts from clients such as Veolia and Amey. And in October 2014, Blue Sky announced its merger with the Rehabilitation of Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt) to form a union that tackles the interconnected problems of addiction, crime and re-offending.

Kate adds: “Blue Sky has a compelling offer to ex-offenders, to communities and to employers. I look forward to working with the team, board and RAPt to build Blue Sky’s growth and impact.”  

Kate replaces Mick May who founded Blue Sky 10 years ago. In 2013 he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer associated with exposure to asbestos. Blue Sky and RAPt retain the benefits of his experience, expertise and many friendships on a non-executive basis as he becomes a Patron. He is also pursuing other charitable activities.

[one_half]Mick says: “I step down from Blue Sky full of pride and with many fond memories. It’s hard to remember now, but my original idea of a company where you had to have a criminal record to work there was thought by many to be eccentric at best. But now it’s a reality that has transformed the lives of thousands .That was only possible because of an extraordinary bunch of colleagues. And now I leave Blue Sky in extremely capable hands – with a new partner, a new leader and an existing team whom I am sure together will blaze a trail to the future as Blue Sky reaches new heights.” [/one_half]

[one_half_last]David Bernstein, Chair of Blue Sky says: “I am delighted to have succeeded Ron Sheldon as Chairman of Blue Sky at this exciting time. We are very pleased to have Kate Markey leading the organisation into the next phase of its development. Consolidating Mick May’s remarkable achievements and strengthening the links with RAPt, will allow us to make a reality our vision of creating a continuum of support, from in-prison care for addicts, to resettlement support through the prison gate and into a proper paid job with on the outside.” [/one_half_last]