Disability charity Leonard Cheshire appoints Ruth Owen as its next chief executive

Ruth Owen will join in February from Whizz-Kidz, which she has led since 2004

Ruth Owen
Ruth Owen

The disability charity Leonard Cheshire has appointed Ruth Owen as its next chief executive. 

She has been chief executive of Whizz-Kidz, which provides equipment such as powered wheelchairs for disabled children and young people, since 2004. 

Owen, who has been a wheelchair user since she was seven, will succeed Neil Heslop, who has become chief executive of the Charities Aid Foundation

Before joining Whizz-Kidz, Owen spent 10 years running her own IT company. 

She was appointed OBE in 2012 for services to disabled children and young people.

Sally Davis, chair of Leonard Cheshire, said Owen’s “passion, drive, business skills, charity and business experience will be a huge asset as we look to build on the achievements of recent years”. 

She added: “While a huge amount has been achieved, we want to make an even bigger difference to the lives of disabled people around the world. Ruth will be integral to realising that vision.”

Owen said she was privileged to have been appointed to the role. 

“I am passionate about enabling disabled people around the world to live, learn and work as independently as they choose and making a significant and tangible difference to their lives,” she said. 

Owen will take up the role on 1 February.

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