Action in rural Sussex Charity Chief Executive moves on after 29 years

Press Release

For immediate release: 18th April 2018

After 29 years Action in rural Sussex will soon be saying goodbye to its Chief Executive, Jeremy Leggett.

Jeremy has been with AirS since 1989 and has seen the organisation, and the rural communities of Sussex, go through immense changes over that time. AirS has existed as a champion of rural communities in Sussex since 1931 and this has remained the focus of the organisation over recent decades. For many years its relationship with government, both central and local, meant that people often didn’t realise it was an independent charity.

Recently, AirS has been working to assert its independence and to create opportunities for itself to become less reliant on public funding and develop new ways of supporting rural communities that are not dependent on the public purse. It has recently disposed of its main office building in Lewes with a view to investing in activities that can become self-sustaining.

Jeremy said: “I firmly believe that the time has come for a new Chief Executive to lead AirS, someone with new ideas and skills who will be better placed to work with Trustees to put in place a positive new strategy for the future. There is huge scope to build on our amazing staff team’s expertise, to build on our track record working with rural communities and now, to make positive use of our strengthened balance sheet.
I remain fully committed to the aims of Action in rural Sussex and will look back with great affection on the organisation and some wonderful memories of all the people I have worked with whilst I have been here.
It is hard to believe that I first joined AirS before the Berlin Wall came down, when mobile phones were still an exotic and expensive luxury”

Jeremy will remain with Action in rural Sussex until the Autumn in order to work with the Trustees to manage a smooth transition.

Chantal Wilson, Chairman of Trustees of Action in rural Sussex said “Jeremy is a Sussex treasure, having been the unwavering champion of rural well-being in the County for so many years. His reputation is such that he is known as Mr AirS and he will be an extremely hard act to follow. It will take a very long time to adjust to the idea that Jeremy is no longer with the charity. I would like to thank him for his dedication to AirS over so many years and for making AirS such a strong force for good in the County. He will be greatly missed for a very long time.”


For further information, please contact:

Steph Georgalakis, Marketing & Support Officer

Action in rural Sussex

01273 407313

 Notes to editors

AirS is an independent charity that exists for all people living in rural areas of Sussex but especially those who are at risk of isolation and/or disadvantage, and for whom rural life brings an additional challenge and cost to their daily lives.

AirS’ services include support for Children & Families (COPES), Affordable Housing, Community Land Trusts, Neighbourhood & Community-Led Planning, Village Agents & Village Care, Community Buildings Advice & Support and Advocacy for rural communities.

Established in 1931, we are staffed by a highly experienced and dedicated team who are committed to helping people overcome the challenges caused by their rural location. Our vision is for a thriving, economically active rural Sussex full of choice and opportunities for everyone, regardless of their circumstances.

Part of the ACRE network of rural councils, our work is funded by members’ subscriptions, donations and legacies. In addition, some of our services receive grant funding from trusts, foundations and the public sector.

For more information visit: or follow us on Twitter: @ruralsussex




“Supporting rural communities in Sussex to be vibrant and diverse places in which to live and work.”