Message from the chair

Sally Davis - chairFirst of all, I would like to thank our previous chair, Ilyas Khan, for his immense contribution to this organisation and to disabled people around the world.

I would also like to thank our outgoing chief executive, Clare Pelham, who has steered Leonard Cheshire Disability for over five years.

During this time, she has campaigned to end 15-minute home care visits, initiated our groundbreaking Future Choices programme, which aims to put disabled people’s views at the heart of what
we do, and developed our international presence and capabilities.

We will build on these foundations during this time of transition in social care. The year has seen the introduction of the National Living Wage, which we support. But this also brings challenges when there are so many demands on the public purse.

The good thing is that this debate is much higher than before on the agenda of politicians and decision-makers and we will work with all groups to find the right solution, which gives choice and opportunity to disabled people.

Given this difficult financial climate, I am pleased to report that the organisation has ended the year in a satisfactory financial position, due in no small part to the hard work of our staff, but also to the continued generosity of our wonderful donors.

To maintain this position for the coming year, we will need to re-double our efforts both in examining every cost item, while maintaining levels of care, but also in inspiring even more people to join our campaigns and fund our ground-breaking programmes.

So, in this my first year as chair, I will be working with fellow trustees and our experienced and dedicated management team to develop a strategy which will sustain and grow our
organisation over the next five years.

Our Future Choices programme, which we aim to complete in the coming year, will provide extraordinarily valuable input to help us define and shape the way we need to develop our services.

We will also be gathering input from the wider community, so our services and programmes can truly reflect the needs of current and future generations of disabled people. We will continue to work both in the UK and internationally to improve the chances of employment for disabled people, through our flagship work-based programmes.

This is a time of great change, but also, I believe, there is a great opportunity to work towards a more inclusive society, where each individual is valued on their own terms. Leonard Cheshire Disability will continue to campaign and seek support for this vision, and encourage contributions, both in volunteering and donations, from a broad swathe of people, as we prepare to celebrate the centenary of the birth of our founder in 2017.

Finally, I would like to thank the trustees, for giving me the opportunity to lead this extraordinary organisation and the staff for their continued commitment, dedication and passion to deliver our mission.

Sally Davies

Sally Davis