Support in Mind Scotland has named a new chief executive
A mental health charity has named a new chief executive.
Support in Mind Scotland (SiMS) has announced Nick Ward, currently director of National Autistic Society Scotland, will take over from Frances Simpson as chief executive.
Simpson joined the organisation as CEO in January 2012, completing a full decade at the helm of one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities.
Simpson said: “I am sad to be retiring from SiMS after 10 years, but delighted that the Board has appointed Nick who will bring fresh energy and ideas to the role of CEO. Nick will be leading a truly amazing team right across the country, every one of whom, I know, will give him a warm welcome. I feel privileged to have been part of SiMS’ development over the past decade, and I wish Nick and the entire team all the best for the future.”
Ward is originally from Dundee and went to Edinburgh University. His professional background is in education where he was a secondary school teacher and then senior leader before moving into the third sector. He got his masters degree in leadership from University College London (UCL) and was a local authority councillor in Islington, London where he lived for 10 years. He was regional director for the education charity Teach First before becoming the director of the National Autistic Society Scotland.
He said: “I am so thrilled to be taking up the position of CEO of Support in Mind Scotland. I have, for a long time, been a fan of the organisation and the incredible people centred, compassionate and expert work that it does.
“I am so excited to work with the amazing staff, members, volunteers and people we support to build on the incredible legacy that Frances Simpson has created. There is still so much to do when it comes to mental health in Scotland, particularly supporting those with more severe conditions and in harder to reach groups and I am proud to be part of a team who will be working tirelessly to make sure that no one in Scotland has to face mental illness alone.”
Dr Maqsood Ahmed, chair of SiMS, said: “On behalf of the board of directors, I am delighted to welcome Nick Ward as our new CEO. Nick’s record of achievement, experience and passion for mental health will be a huge asset in the next phase of our journey and we looking forward to working with him at this crucial time - congratulations Nick!
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Frances Simpson for her incredible contribution as CEO over the past 10 years. Her work leaves a lasting legacy as we continue to see significant growth in membership and impact. In Nick we have found an able successor to build on those achievements and ensure Support in Mind Scotland continues to work tirelessly to improve the quality of life of people affected by mental ill health, challenge stigma and be a voice for our members.”