ANDREW Gold – chairman of Airedale NHS Foundation Trust – has taken over the reins of a Rotary club.

The 50-year-old is the new president of the Skipton club.

He has chaired the health trust, which runs Airedale Hospital, since January 2018.

Mr Gold is also a non-executive director of the Silsden-based Ecology Building Society.

He took-up his Rotary role, succeeding Mike Thornett, in an online meeting of 40 members and guests.

“It is my pleasure to be president for the new Rotary year," said Mr Gold.

"The club’s ambition is to thrive by having fun in activities making a difference to communities and people’s lives."

He has nominated as his good cause for the year the Airedale Hospital & Community Charity, with the aim of providing funds for specific items in areas such as cancer or children’s services.

A spokesman said: "This mirrors the public’s overwhelming support for the NHS when at the start of this Rotary year we are in the midst of a global pandemic.

"Nevertheless, all of us at Skipton Rotary continue to look forward and remain positive about our new Rotary year as we reset to reflect a post Covid-19 world and find new ways of delivering our ambition and aims with a continuing focus on the principles of Rotary."

Mr Thornett reflected on a successful year in office, during which nearly £20,000 was raised for local and international good causes.

Beneficiaries included Skipton Foodbank – which received three donations over the year totalling £3,100 – and Brougham Street Nursery School, which was given £500 in October to buy ten sets of wet-weather clothing for young pupils to take part in forest school activities.

It was also a good year for youth activities, arranged by Rotarian Andrew Forman. Young people had taken part in an Ocean Youth Trust adventure, a Kids Out event, and young chef and speaker competitions.

Mr Thornett also honoured four members – David Bradbury, Ian Knowles, Peter Watson and John Wright – by presenting them with coveted Paul Harris Fellow awards in recognition of their service to Skipton Rotary and the community.

The club has a number of events planned for the Rotary year, including a theatre trip in November, a mulled wine stall at Skipton Christmas Market and a festive meal, an annual charter night next March, a concert featuring City of Bradford Brass Band and Steeton Male Voice Choir, and a dragon boat racing event next May.