BACP Chair Andrew Reeves is to step aside at this year’s AGM after five years in the position.
The BACP Board has voted Natalie Bailey in as the new Chair from November.
Andrew said it has been an honour to serve as the Association’s Chair, and is now stepping aside to pursue other professional opportunities.
“It will mark five years since I became Chair and it's been an amazing time, and now seems no better time than ever to step aside and let someone else take on the role,” said Andrew, in a video message he recorded to inform members of his decision.
“When I took over as Chair, BACP was in a period of transition and to say that there has been a lot of work behind the scenes would be an understatement.
“It's been an absolutely fantastic time and I would like to thank so many people, which I will do over the coming months.
“But just to say now, the Board, who are an amazing group of people, all of whom, including the Chair and Deputy Chair, do their work voluntarily are so committed to the counselling professions and to BACP.
“The senior staff at the Association and the wider staff, whose integrity and support has been really quite phenomenal, and has supported me right throughout that process, I really couldn't have done the role I have done, which at times can be quite demanding, without their unequivocal support.
“But now is an opportunity for me to step aside. There are lots of other professional things for me to do, which I am very excited by.
“And, also, it feels that BACP is in a really strong, robust position to continue advocating for the counselling professions."
Andrew added: “The Board have elected a new Chair, and I am delighted to say that Natalie Bailey, who is an elected member of the Board, elected by the membership, and also a long-standing member of the Association herself and a counsellor, has been elected the new Chair and will take over from me in November.
“I want to wish Natalie all the best. She will be an outstanding Chair and I think she is going to bring some real energy and insight to our Association.
“I want to say thank you to the membership. You voted for me to join the Board, and it's been an absolute honour as a counsellor to be able to try and play my small part in steering the direction of our Association, and therefore the counselling professions in the wider realm.
“I'll continue to support the work of the Association, and I will continue to be an active member.
“I have been a paying member of BACP for over 20 years and I can say without hesitation that I am as proud now to be a member of this Association as I ever have been.
“And when I consider what we have achieved over the years, and how the environment has changed since I first qualified, it's really quite breath-taking.
“So, best of luck to Natalie when she takes over. I'm sure I will have the opportunity to meet and talk to many of you along the way. And until then, thanks again for all your support.
“And I wish BACP and you well in the future.”