Disabilities charity hires safeguarding and governance expert for new senior role

A charity that supports disabled people and their families is to draft in a safeguarding and governance expert through a change to its senior management structure.

Joanne Lappin is to join respite care charity Revitalise in the autumn in the newly created role of executive director of quality.

She joins from Hampshire County Council, where she is head of governance and assurance, overseeing safeguarding and care governance for adults. Her previous roles have included head of safeguarding at Southern Health NHS Trust.

The hiring of Lappin and the creation of her role comes as the charity sector as a whole looks to ramp up its practices around governance and protection of vulnerable beneficiaries, including children and adults with disabilities.

The creation of the role also comes amid a revamping of Revitalise’s services in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The charity provides respite holidays for families but has been unable to provide these during lockdown. Instead it has repurposed two of its holiday centres to provide beds and care for NHS patients. It is also offers care at a third centre for disabiled people, who are unable to access help at home.

At Hampshire County Council Lappin has been involved in its response to the pandemic.

Revitalise’s chief executive officer, Jan Tregelles, said: “Joanne’s fantastic career within health and social care speaks for itself, and I’m looking forward to working with her to ensure that quality is at the heart of everything we do.”

Lappin added: “I’m very pleased to be joining such an important and ambitious organisation as Revitalise, which has plans to expand and help even more people around the country. I am excited to be part of a charity which provides much needed holidays for disabled people and it is a privilege to join them.”

Last month the National Council for Voluntary Organisations urged all charities to learn from governance failings highlighted in a critical Charity Commission report into the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB). The concerns centred around safeguarding a the RNIB’s Pears Centre children’s home, which has since closed.

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