Spina Bifida Hydrocephalus (SBH) Scotland announces new Chief Executive

21/09/2023
Lawrence Cowan

Leading Scottish specialist charity SBH Scotland is appointing a new Chief Executive Officer for the first time since 1989.

LAWRENCE Cowan is currently Director of Income Generation at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland and will assume his new role in October 2023 when he replaces Andy Wynd, who is stepping down after 34 years at the helm.

Prior to his current role at Chest Heart and Stroke Scotland, one of Scotland’s largest health charities, Lawrence was the organisation’s Director of Communications and Fundraising leading its work on high profile campaigns like the award nominated Long Covid Care Now campaign, and Thrombectomy for All.

Lawrence’s career in the third sector began many years ago when his friend, political researcher Gordon Aikman, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) at just 29 years old. He and Gordon, along with a group of their closest friends, formed the ‘Gordon’s Fightback’ campaign and were successful in doubling the number of MND nurses, while raising £700,000 for research.

Lawrence went on to become Chair of the Board at MND Scotland, leading the charity through a period of significant growth and helping to establish Scotland’s largest ever drug trial for the rare condition – MND SMART

Dr Margo Whiteford CBE, Chairperson of SBH Scotland, said: “Andy Wynd has done so much for SBH Scotland over the last three decades, turning what was a small, parent-led group into a national service that provides specialised support to more than 4,000 individuals across Scotland.

“Finding a successor was always going to be difficult. In Lawrence, however, we have found someone with a depth of experience in the sector, a real passion for driving change, and the exceptional leadership skills we need to develop and grow.

“We’re greatly looking forward to Lawrence joining us and leading the charity into the future as we start a new exciting chapter in our history.”

Lawrence Cowan said: “”I’m delighted to be joining the wonderful team and the wider community in our mission to make sure that no one faces the effects of spina bifida and hydrocephalus alone. 

“I also want to pay tribute to Andy’s commitment to and leadership of the charity. The progress that we make in the future is only possible because of Andy’s contribution to growing SBH Scotland to the respected national service provider it is today.   

“Right now, people need our support more than ever. The cost-of-living crisis is hitting many of our families hard. Almost half of disabled households are struggling with the basics such as keeping their home warm. Demand for our range of family support services is also increasing while the cost of care is rising. 

“We need people to get behind our cause like never before.  Bringing together our families, our donors and supporters I know we can build a truly unstoppable cause to improve the lives of people with our conditions.”  

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