METRO CEO Dr Greg Ussher working from home

Dr Gregory Ussher, CEO of METRO Charity, has resigned from METRO Charity.

Dr Ussher was initially employed at METRO Charity in March 2005 as a Director of Outreach and Community Development, before becoming Deputy CEO in 2011 and then successfully being appointed as CEO in 2014. Dr Ussher has been a mainstay of the charity for 17 years.

Chair of the Board of Trustees, Gwen Bryan, said:

"Dr Ussher has been instrumental in building a charity where his leadership, catalysed by a growing team, has been truly transformative. He has also ensured that METRO has in place a management team to appropriately support and deliver this against this continued growth.

"Dr Ussher significantly increased the number of partner agencies that multiple services were provided to as well as increasing the profile of the range of services. Dr Ussher also cultivated the charity’s research reputation, particularly through a range of international publications associated with the National Youth Chances research project and built important relationships with a range of universities and colleges. This drive enabled the creation of research capacity within the charity and is now championed through our Research Working Group.

"Additionally, Dr Ussher and his team built the charity’s networks and reputation nationally and internationally, delivering projects in Eastern Europe, initiating significant multi-country EU funded sexual health research projects and through the Erasmus program providing many opportunities for dozens of staff to work or study in multiple countries across Europe.

"During Dr Ussher’s leadership the charity faced many challenges including the management of change and the reliance on year on year funding from Local Authorities, the NHS and a range of other funders. His management of METRO Charity alongside our senior leadership team, over the COVID–19 lockdown and restrictions has been among the other highlights of his tenure. He has deftly responded to these challenges with alacrity, vigour and candour to the Board of Trustees as well as to the entire METRO workforce including staff and volunteers.

"Dr Ussher and team built and maintained excellent working relationships with politicians, civil servants, commissioners, partner agencies and other external people and organisations. He is respected across a range of sectors, including LGBT equalities, disability, HIV prevention and support, sexual and reproductive health, mental health, youth sectors, and community development and infrastructure. Dr Ussher has a passion for equality and diversity, and his leadership of the charity reflects this.

"Dr Ussher also demonstrated a genuine devotion to the history of the charity, along with all the merged organisations and projects and their legacies. He tells me he has left the charity to continue his engagement with a number of history projects, which is the nature of his PhD.

"All involved at METRO Charity wish Dr Ussher well with all of his future projects."

Dr Ussher said:

"It has been a remarkable 17 years at METRO, and I am pleased to be leaving the charity at this moment in time, as it thrives and grows and diversifies so beautifully.

"I was able to be myself at METRO, and I was also quick to encourage, mentor, facilitate, support and hopefully inspire others to be themselves too. Being able to identify as our true selves is such a gift!

"I am so proud of what we achieved in the ongoing and collective struggle to be our unique selves, and to have boldly and strategically kept up the challenge for equality, and the battle against health inequalities.

"I’m glad too that as CEO of METRO I was able to build a strong, vibrant and durable charity that provided the backdrop for our staff, volunteers and service users to become parents or guardians, achieve residency and citizenship, marry or enter into civil partnerships, grieve the loss of loved relatives and friends, develop professionally, travel, gain Masters and PhDs, explore their sexuality, become home owners, recover from emotional distress, live through diagnoses, start relationships, change identities, transition – in short, to encounter all that life entails knowing that the charity and the workplace was 100% behind and beside and with them.

"My lovely husband Warren Bleechmore has been with me every step of the way, and he has been such a devoted and proud champion of METRO too, and I know as I move forward with my future history projects in the UK, France and Australia we will continue to love and honour each other’s dreams and aspirations.

"Au revoir METRO!

"May you continue, as you have done for the last 37 years, to celebrate difference, embrace diversity and work towards optimal health and wellbeing for all."