Nigel Harris to step down as Designability Chief Executive

Two pictures of Nigel - one smiling at the camera in a suit and one running in the Bath Half Marathon

Nigel will step down from the role early in the New Year, after nine years in post.

A fond farewell

Nigel has overseen considerable growth in the charity, which has doubled in size since 1999. During this time, Designability has introduced the Wizzybug Loan Scheme, which now provides free, independent powered mobility to more than 400 children around the UK. More recently, Nigel led a multi-centre £2million project, called CHIRON, to develop a customisable modular robot system that aims to support new models of care at home and enable people with physical disabilities to live independently.

Nigel will step down from the role early in the New Year, after nine years in post he will be leaving to focus on his academic research work at the University of Bath and the University of the West of England.

The next chapter for Designability

At the charity’s 50th anniversary celebration in July, Nigel announced that the ACT Foundation have generously agreed to fund the construction of a new home for Designability and launched an appeal to raise the final £750,000 needed to fit out the new building. This will enable the charity to transform more lives by their continued growth and development of their work.

Nigel said: “It has been a real privilege for me to have led the team through such a period of sustained growth in our work. Over the past 50 years we have helped more than 250,000 people and I am pleased to have played my part in this.

“It is an exciting time for the charity, as we celebrate our 50th anniversary and plan for our new home.”

Catharine Brown to take on the role in early 2019

Catharine Brown will take on the Chief Executive role in February 2019. She brings 15 years’ experience of charity leadership, having led the fundraising and marketing activities of a number of national charities, and latterly working as a consultant advising charity CEOs and Boards on strategy and leadership development. Her early career was in commercial marketing at brands including Marks & Spencer and The Economist.

Nigel added: “We have a great team and are looking forward to Catharine bringing her wealth of experience to Designability to continue our growth moving forward, extending our reach to even more people who could benefit from our products in everyday life.”