Duo will direct hearing aid drive

Anita Pati

The RNID has recruited two leading voluntary sector figures to spearhead its biggest-ever campaign, due to launch this autumn.

Susan Osborne, who will lead on PR and profile-raising, and John McCaffrey, new head of income generation, will be joint directors of the campaign, designed to make wearing hearing aids as acceptable and desirable as wearing glasses.

An RNID spokeswoman said the names of the pair would be well known to many in the sector. Susan Osborne spent eight years as a board member and director of communications at the Cancer Research Campaign, and oversaw the merger between the charity and the Imperial Cancer Research Fund to form Cancer Research UK. But her role was made redundant during a shake-up last year to strengthen clinical work and reduce CRUK's emphasis on PR and communications. Since then she has run her own communications consultancy.

She also has a background in BBC broadcast journalism and national newspapers.

John McCaffrey joins the charity from the V&A museum, where he was director of development for three years. In that time he led a team whose combined efforts raised more than £35m. Before joining the V&A, McCaffrey was special adviser on corporate reputation and sponsorship to Lord Browne, chief executive of oil company BP.

McCaffrey was also responsible for securing the UK's largest-ever charitable gift - £130m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - when he established the Gates Scholars scholarship scheme at Cambridge University.

The joint campaign directors will work with RNID trustees, who include the Countess of Wessex.

John Low, chief executive of RNID, said: "I am de-lighted to announce RNID's plans for a major campaign that will seek to change the world for millions of deaf and hard of hearing people."

The campaign is likely to involve the charity's first foray into international TV advertising, and it is seeking an advertising agency to devise the creative.


- The RNID has appointed key voluntary sector practitioners Susan Osborne and John McCaffrey to head a campaign launching this autumn

- Osborne will become director of PR and profile-raising; McCaffrey will lead income generation

- The campaign is designed to make the wearing of hearing aids as acceptable as wearing glasses.

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