We would like to announce that we have welcomed Karen Deacon as QEF’s new chief executive.

Karen joins QEF from the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) where she has been director of adult social care. She has previously worked at Young Epilepsy following a career in the NHS and is a nurse by background. 

The chairman of our board of trustees Rob Douglas said: “Our mission is to work together, with care and creativity, to enable people with disabilities to live life to the full. Karen is joining QEF at an exciting stage of our ambitious strategy. She has all the skills and experience we need to grow and diversify as well as to oversee the development of our new campus that will deliver more co-ordinated services. There are exciting times ahead and we look forward to being able to do even more for people with disabilities on a local and national level.”

Karen has explained how she sees this role and what her plans are:

“I’d just like to say that I am very passionate about our work and excited for the future. I feel honoured to join QEF as I’m impressed by the unique range of services the charity provides and share everyone’s passion to work together and develop services that really make a difference to the lives of disabled people and their families.

“It’s a great privilege to lead the exciting new developments that are starting to take shape and I’m looking forward to working with our staff and service users and meeting as many of the charity’s supporters as I can.

“The clearest message I’d like to bring from my previous role at RNIB is that we all need to ‘live the message’. This means every interaction is valued. Respect, customer focus and accessibility are always considered to ensure we are inclusive of everyone.

“I have led on a very large development at Redhill. This was very inclusive, with visitors, stakeholders and families involved to develop an inclusive community.

“I also have worked with the London Marathon events team and this experience will, I hope, help me to bring sports for disabled people further up QEF’s agenda.

“As a charity we need to value every penny that is fundraised and spend them carefully and wisely to fulfil our strategy and deliver outstanding services.”