June 20, 2023

Catharine Brown to step down as Designability Chief Executive

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“It has been a privilege to lead Designability”

After four highly successful years at Designability, Chief Executive Catharine Brown has announced today her decision to step down from her role in September 2023.

Catharine joined Designability as CEO in 2019 and has significantly expanded the charity’s reach and impact during that time. She said: “It has been a privilege to lead Designability, and work with such talented people to deliver solutions to the challenges disabled people face every day. I’m leaving the charity with a bold three-year plan in place, and a strong and dedicated leadership team motivated to support the organisation to deliver it.

“Designability is a unique charity listening to disabled people, understanding their challenges and designing solutions to help them live with greater independence.”

Helping Designability through a period of significant growth and the challenges of covid-19

“Under my tenure over the past four years, the charity has expanded its reach significantly to help many more disabled people. I am particularly proud of our work to increase the accessibility to public EV charging infrastructure, so that around 1.4 million disabled drivers can transition over to an electric car through our design guidance for accessible charge points – work which will have a lasting impact on disabled drivers for years to come.

“And of course, I am delighted at the continued expansion in the number of disabled children we help with Wizzybug, our powered wheelchair for under 5s, many more of whom are now enjoying being independent as a result of the growth in our free loan scheme service.”

Jerry Marwood, Chair of Trustees, said “Catharine is right to be proud of her achievements in growing Designability. Not only did she successfully steer the charity through the choppy waters that the covid-19 pandemic brought, she has also overseen significant growth in our income which has allowed us to help more disabled people through our innovative design and product solutions. Leading the team to create a focused strategy, and now a clear three-year plan to 2026, the charity is stronger than ever thanks to her inspirational and outstanding leadership.

“We and everyone at Designability are sorry to see her go and wish her every success in the future.”

Catharine joined Designability as CEO in 2019, following a successful early career in marketing in the commercial sector working for brands including Marks & Spencer and The Economist, and subsequent fundraising and marketing leadership roles in five national charities, alongside her role as a consultant helping charities across the sector to achieve strategic change.

Catharine will be leaving in September 2023 to pursue her next role, and the Designability Board of Trustees will shortly begin the process to recruit her successor.

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