Edel Harris will be the next Chief Executive Officer of Royal Mencap Society. She is currently CEO of Cornerstone, one of Scotland’s leading charities, which provides a range of services to people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, autism and dementia.
In this role, Edel has pioneered new ways of providing care particularly through Local Cornerstone, tackling the challenges faced by the social care system, whilst ensuring that people with a learning disability are empowered to live the life they choose. Edel has a wide range of experience and notable achievements including:
- Former Director of the Aberdeen Football Club Community Trust;
- Former Chair of the Scottish Government’s Social Investment Fund;
- Board member of the Robertson Trust;
- An honorary doctorate from Robert Gordon University for her contribution to charity and business in Scotland; and
- Scottish EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2017.
Commenting on her appointment, Edel said:
“I am delighted to have been appointed as the new CEO at Mencap. As someone who is passionate about ensuring that people with a learning disability are included, listened to and valued, this role provides me with an opportunity to continue all the good work I’ve done at Cornerstone but on a bigger stage.
“I am very sorry to leave all my great friends and colleagues at Cornerstone. Over the last eleven years, I have worked with some amazing, committed people who have shown courage and passion despite what, at times, has been a challenging time for the social care sector in Scotland. I have been supported by a wonderful voluntary board of directors and I am really proud of all that we have achieved since 2008.
“Mencap is a very well-known and respected charity and I am excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”
Derek Lewis, Chair of Royal Mencap Society, said:
“The trustees are delighted that Edel has accepted the role of chief executive of Royal Mencap Society. The challenges facing people with learning disabilities, as well as their families, carers and the organisations that provide support, remain severe. Working with all of these groups, Mencap is committed to enabling people with learning disabilities to lead good lives, able to make their own choices and free from discrimination.
“As we embark on the next phase of our ambitious development strategy, we look forward to Edel’s leadership and commitment to people with learning disabilities. Her experience and insights will be invaluable, especially those from her eleven years as CEO of Cornerstone where she has pioneered transformational changes in the way people with learning disabilities are supported. We look forward to welcoming her and working with her.”
Andrew Lockhart, Chair of Cornerstone, said:
“I would wish to record our warm thanks and congratulations to Edel. While we will, of course, be very sorry to see her leave the organisation, this appointment is worthy recognition both of her outstanding contribution to Cornerstone over the past eleven years, and of her high profile within the sector generally in Scotland.”