Major Scottish charity appoints first new chief executive in 34 years
Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus (SBH) Scotland said Lawrence Cowan, currently director of income generation at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, would replace the long-serving Andy Wynd next month. Prior to his current role at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, Cowan was the organisation’s director of communications and fundraising leading its work on high-profile campaigns including the “Long Covid Care Now” initiative. His career in the third sector began many years ago when his friend, political researcher Gordon Aikman, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease at just 29 years old. He and Aikman, along with a group of their closest friends, formed the “Gordon’s Fightback” campaign and were successful in doubling the number of MND nurses, while raising £700,000 for research.
Margo Whiteford, chairperson of SBH Scotland, said: “Andy Wynd has done so much for SBH Scotland over the last three decades, turning what was a small, parent-led group into a national service that provides specialised support to more than 4,000 individuals across Scotland. Finding a successor was always going to be difficult. In Lawrence, however, we have found someone with a depth of experience in the sector, a real passion for driving change, and the exceptional leadership skills we need to develop and grow. We’re greatly looking forward to Lawrence joining us and leading the charity into the future as we start a new exciting chapter in our history.”
Cowan said: “I want to pay tribute to Andy’s commitment to and leadership of the charity. The progress that we make in the future is only possible because of Andy’s contribution to growing SBH Scotland to the respected national service provider it is today. Right now, people need our support more than ever. The cost-of-living crisis is hitting many of our families hard. Almost half of disabled households are struggling with the basics such as keeping their home warm. Demand for our range of family support services is also increasing while the cost of care is rising,” he added.
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