THE new boss at the helm of one of the region’s oldest children’s charities says she is taking over at a challenging time.

Sue Cotton has taken over as chief executive of Child Action Northwest, which has offices in Summerfield Road, Bolton, and works with 6,000 children and young people across the region.

Ms Cotton worked for seven years with Action for Children in a number of national strategic roles, becoming head of children’s programmes.

She has taken over from John Tempest, who retired after leading the organisation for 12 years and was responsible for taking it forward from the last days of residential care as Blackburn Orphanage.

Ms Cotton said she is impressed with the passion of the staff at Child Action Northwest, which has recently been given an Ofsted outstanding award for its Foster Care and Supported Lodgings service.

She said: “It’s a great privilege to be responsible for the continuation of a journey started more than 100 years ago to be able to be part of something that inspires and changes children, families and communities providing help, support and bringing about changing to see the difference to lives that our intervention can make.

“I think we make a really positive impact in the region.”

The charity faced £1.4 million cuts to its government funding in 2010 and with budgets continuing to be pulled back, Ms Cotton said it is a challenging time to be taking over.

She said: “Having worked in the voluntary sector before, I am aware of the pressure on resources and the impact of deprivation on families and children. Working in a national role previously I’m aware of different approaches to the same problem and don’t think one size fits all.”