The Big Hire: Mark Hodgkinson

Scope's new chief executive joined in January

Mark Hodgkinson
Mark Hodgkinson

Few charity chief executives could have started in the midst of more change than Mark Hodgkinson, who took charge of the disability charity Scope in January.

In the past year, the charity has sold its regulated and day services, shed about two-thirds of its staff, moved offices and embarked on a radical five-year strategy.

So Hodgkinson, who has never worked in the voluntary sector and isn’t disabled, faces a considerable challenge. His CV, however, is impressive. It includes senior roles at companies such as HMV, EMI and Asda. He is also a non-executive director of Oomph!, which helps organisations caring for adults to improve the wellbeing of people they help.

Scope, which was founded in 1952 as the National Spastics Society, is one year into its Everyday Equality strategy. The strategy says that, by 2022, Scope will "be recognised as the go-to organisation for disability, directly reaching two million people with information, advice and support".

Income, however, is declining: £94.6m for the financial year ending 31 March 2018, compared with £97.8m the previous year. But the next set of accounts will be boosted by the inclusion of the £23m Scope received for the sale of its regulated and day services to the private company Salutem Healthcare. It also banked £14m from the sale of its London office and other properties. It has set aside £7.5m for delivering its new strategy, much of which will be spent on improving digital technology, which is seen as key.

Scope, which has 220 shops, is also moving into furniture and electrical retail: it opened its first shop in Northampton last year and plans to open another in Doncaster this year.

Hodgkinson, who will be paid £150,000 a year, said he was joining a charity "on the cusp of achieving great changes with and for disabled people".

Andrew McDonald, chair of Scope, said Hodgkinson’s "understanding of, and empathy with Scope’s history and ambitions for equality for disabled people shone through, as did his qualities of leadership, acumen and character".

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