The national learning disabilities charity, Hft, has appointed two new Chief Officers, Devia Gurjar and Teresa Parker, to its executive board.
Devia will lead the Charity and External Affairs portfolio and brings a wealth of experience across Brand, Marketing and Fundraising from previous roles across the charity sector. The specialist expertise she brings to the role includes success in income generation, multichannel marketing strategies and organisation rebrands.
Prior to joining Hft, Devia most recently held the position of Director of Brand & Marketing and interim Fundraising for the charity Barnardo’s. Other leadership roles across the sector have included the Director of Marketing and Communications for Girlguiding. Devia has also previously held roles with Scope, spearheading the launch of the charity’s first awareness-raising advertising campaign, #EndTheAwkward, and RNIB.
“I’m delighted to join Hft and feel very privileged to be able to continue my passion for causes that build a more inclusive and equal future with Hft. I look forward to working with the team to inspire more people to support our work, helping us to support people with learning disabilities to live their best lives possible. I started my charity career in the disability sector which has always held a special place for me and I’m thrilled to be able to return to it.”
Also joining Hft is Teresa Parker who is taking up the position of Chief Commercial Housing Officer. Her role is to provide strategic direction and commercial leadership across all elements of Hft’s housing portfolio.
Teresa joins the charity having held several leadership roles in supported housing management and most recently, commercial asset management. Her previous experience includes a proven track record in leading and motivating multi-disciplinary teams in translating strategic plans into commercially viable operational activities; having worked as Managing Director Vital Services, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s Hospital and as Director of Care Services at the Joseph Rowntree Trust. Before this Teresa was the National Housing Head, with responsibility for 16,000 properties, for ‘Housing and Care 21’, after a ten-year career in various roles, with the national Housing Association.
Teresa says she is enthusiastic about the challenge of the new role:
“Hft’s vision is a world where adults with learning disabilities live the best life possible. I’m excited to support the ethos of the organisation by enriching the standards of our housing portfolio to support the delivery of excellent services to ensure the greatest impact for the people we support. Ultimately, my aim is for Hft to become the market leader for creating empowering environments, in both the design of refurbishments and new build projects, for people with learning disabilities.”