Inspirational founder of Aspire Ryde leaving to become Pioneer Minister

Founder of Ryde’s Aspire, Heath, is leaving to a new future. The passion behind the project will be continued.

Heath Monaghan at Isle of Wight Soup

The Charity Trustees of Aspire Ryde today announced that Heath Monaghan, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Aspire Ryde, will depart from the organisation by the end of the year.

The well-established team at Aspire Ryde will ensure that it will be service as usual, reaching out across the Island, continuing to transform people’s lives and the local community.

Robust plans in place
The trustees have robust plans in place to ensure a smooth transition between Chief Executive Officers, with Heath agreeing to stay in a part time role working alongside his successor until December.

The board hugely appreciates Heath’s visionary role in setting up Aspire Ryde, and we totally support him as he sets off on his new adventure to train as a Pioneer Minister with the Diocese of Portsmouth.

Heath’s bold vision was to revitalise an old redundant church building, strengthen services to the local community and to be responsive to local needs.

An example to the country
With his passionate and dedicated team, Heath has developed a wonderful multiple-award-winning concept, that is highly regarded and regularly accepts visitors from other communities across the UK looking to the example of Aspire Ryde as they seek to revitalise their own communities.

Aspire Ryde first opened its doors in February 2014 and has reached a point of stability and continued success in community work, volunteer involvement and successful fundraising.

The future
They say they have an exciting three-fold future ahead of them:

  • secured the long-term use of the building;
  • are about to open the soft-play centre in the main body of the space,
  • are eagerly awaiting the outcome of planning permission for a big build project that will remove the building from the ‘at risk register’ and make it fit for purpose for the next generation.

Their next Chief Executive will be able to build on the enormous success of Aspire Ryde, and establish this project for community use for many years to come.

Heath’s future as a Pioneer Minister
Heath said,

“It is really difficult to leave the people at Aspire that have become like family, however the sense of a calling into Ministry in the Church of England has been ever growing and I am very pleased that The Bishop of Portsmouth has agreed to sponsor me to train as a pioneer minister.

My family & I are putting the final pieces into place but hope to stay on the Island and we are very excited about what ministry might look like here.”

Achieving much with very little
Heath continued:

“Aspire Ryde is now well established with a very credible name, we have built a strong foundation for Aspire’s future growth, including strengthening our team, and projects throughout the community, the play area is currently being built and that is a major part of the original vision coming to fruition. The organisation will now really benefit from someone with a different skillset to take it into this exciting next phase of its life.

“I started Aspire Ryde with my wife & a small local team with a clear idea to be innovative, modernise and make change in our community.

“I believe the foundations are now firmly laid for the organisation to face the future with renewed vigour and the stability to have a great impact, not only saving this wonderful heritage building for the future but transforming our community and impacting lives in the process.

“Last year the team at Aspire with a very small budget had more than 2 million pounds worth of social impact in our community. I have seen first-hand just how our team and our community are able to do amazing things with very little and make maximum impact to change lives for the better. Being at Aspire has indeed been a privilege and I shall miss the whole team and our clients/users very much.”

Thanks from the trustees
Will Sussman, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Aspire Ryde, said:

“Heath has set the charity on course to have a huge effect and impact on lives across the Isle of Wight. We will miss his vast skills, enthusiasm and encouragements to all.

There is sadness about him leaving us, but also celebration at all that has already been achieved, what he will achieve in his new role and much excitement about the future for Aspire Ryde.

On behalf of the Board and all the volunteers at Aspire Ryde, I would like to thank Heath for the enormous amount of passion, hard work and energy he has brought to this role. We wish him well as he and his family set off on their exciting new adventure.”

“Heath’s energetic and inspiring leadership”
Bishop Christopher of Portsmouth said:

“Aspire Ryde’s outreach continues to be based on its openness to the whole community, offering a place of meeting, encounter and engagement. In just over five years it has developed hugely under Heath’s energetic and inspiring leadership for which we are all grateful.

As exciting new Christian service beckons for him, Aspire and Holy Trinity will continue to be a hub for all and a transforming place for individuals and community”.

Image: © Graham Reading Photography

Wednesday, 26th June, 2019 11:27am



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2 Comments on "Inspirational founder of Aspire Ryde leaving to become Pioneer Minister"

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I wish to personally thank you Heath for your dedication, commitment, innovation, determination, courage, fortitude and sheer guts, in taking on an empty building and turning it into a real life line for many Ryde residents. You have inspired many and demonstrated how existing community spirit can be nurtured to do amazing things. As a resident, local councillor and as Mayor of Ryde, thank you. Aspire will… Read more »

Heath you will be missed for the direction and sense of enablement and achievement that you, and your team have both brought, given and shared with this community.