New Chief executive announced for The Disabilities Trust


Disabilities Trust-CINNational charity, The Disabilities Trust, has announced that Irene Sobowale has been appointed as its new Chief Executive. She will take over from current CEO Barrie Oldham when he retires in spring 2015.

Mrs Sobowale joined the organisation in March 2013 from CLS Bank and is currently the Trust’s Director of Finance.

The appointment follows an external recruitment process carried out by the charity’s Trustees in conjunction with search consultants Perrett Laver.

Peter Jackson, Chair of Trustees, said:

“Irene brings a huge range of skills and a strong strategic vision to the Trust and I am delighted she has accepted the role.

“Our Trust has transformed the lives of thousands of people with complex disabilities since it was established in 1979 and we are now looking to grow and, as a result, improve even more people’s lives. Achieving this growth whilst preserving our financial sustainability will not be easy but I’m sure that Irene is just the right person to lead us in meeting this challenge”

Irene Sobowale said:

“I am hugely pleased and proud to have been appointed and I am looking forward to leading the Trust’s development over the coming years. It is an exciting time for us as we look to both develop our existing service provision and extend our support to many more people.”

She added: “Clearly it will be a challenging time as the pace of health and social care change increases – but I am confident that our expertise means we can make even more of a difference to the lives of people with disabilities.”

Mr Jackson paid tribute to Barrie Oldham, saying:

“Barrie has achieved a huge amount in his 23 years at the Trust, especially in the last seven years as Chief Executive.

“Under his leadership, the Trust has developed highly innovative solutions and services for people with brain injury, through the development of both our Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust and The Disabilities Trust Foundation.

“He has also led the transformation of our services for people with complex autism, and ensured the implementation of innovative approaches which have meant that many people in our services with profound physical disabilities are achieving much higher levels of independence, and have better access to life-changing communications technology, as well as bespoke support to help them live the lives the way they want.

“His passion, dedication and professionalism have been second to none. We wish him a long and happy retirement.”


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