Travel industry veteran Chris Mottershead has been appointed a trustee of charity Just a Drop.
Mottershead, who has worked in the travel industry for 30 years and is the former UK boss of Thomas Cook, said he has always been a big supporter of the charity, which works on projects to provide water, sanitation and hygiene to deprived communities worldwide – and has close ties with the travel industry.
Mottershead is currently a consultant for Barrhead Travel parent company Travel Leaders Group; president of the Institute of Travel and Tourism; and chairman of the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, which is in the process of being wound down following the group’s collapse last year.
He said his appointment came at a time when “hygiene and cleanliness” were in the spotlight due to the Covid-19 pandemic and during a tough period for both the charity and travel sectors.
He said: “I want to help raise the profile of Just a Drop. It has got corporate support but it needs more at a time when companies in travel are focusing on their survival.
“I want to add my experience and influence to remind people it is absolutely essential to continue to support Just a Drop, even more so now when hygiene and cleanliness have proved to be critical.
“Water is the most basic of human needs and it is still shocking that so many people across the world cannot take for granted the provision of clean water.
“We must try to do whatever we can for those in dire need. Just a Drop makes a big difference in parts of the world that need it most. It felt like an obvious place for me to go next.”
Mottershead said he was inspired by his aunt Brenda who set up the water aid charity Wilmslow Wells for Africa in 1980. “The charity exists to this day and I have always been in awe of my aunt and her commitment to make a difference to people’s lives,” he added.
Fiona Jeffery OBE, founder of Just a Drop, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Chris to the Just a Drop board.
“Our links with the travel industry continue to be a vitally important feature of our work, and with Chris’ expertise we will be able to actively engage with more travel and travel-related businesses, and support companies to be real forces for good by extending our collective impact across the world through sustainable tourism practises that genuinely transform communities.”
Mottershead began his career in 1990 at Aspro Travel and went on to hold senior roles at Airtours, Tui UK, Travelzest and First Choice. He joined Thomas Cook Group as managing director UK & Ireland in 2015 before becoming chief of product and operations in 2017, with responsibility for all overseas operations, hotel contracting, quality, health and safety in Cook’s source markets.