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Mental health charity names replacement for long serving chief executive

This news post is 12 months old

Mike Burns will replace Nigel Henderson at Penumbra

A mental health charity has named its new chief executive.

Mike Burns will join Penumbra on 6 September after the charity completed a highly competitive selection process.

Burns was previously chief executive of Aberdeen Cyrenians and brings significant leadership experience of working in the third sector over the last 20 years in the areas of homelessness, substance use, and mental health.

He is taking over from Nigel Henderson who announced his retirement earlier in the year after 30 years with the charity, 22 of those as CEO.

Laura Reid, chair of Penumbra, said: “I’m delighted that we’re being joined by Mike. He’s an experienced CEO who is committed to ensuring those living with mental ill health lead a life of hope and recovery. I’m personally very pleased that we have been able to attract someone with his calibre and track record, and the board look forward to working with him to continue to contribute to shaping and delivering on Scotland’s mental health and wellbeing.

“We also want to take this chance to extend our thanks and appreciation to Nigel for his service and leadership throughout his time with Penumbra, and his wider contribution to the public conversation around mental health in Scotland. The last 18 months in particular have been hugely challenging and we’ve been immensely grateful for Nigel’s dedication to the wellbeing of our teams and people accessing our support services.”

Director of services and innovation, Jane Cumming, said: “Mike joins us at an important time for Penumbra. We have re-emphasised our commitment to mental health recovery and ensuring that people have access to the right support at the right time.  As we take stock and reflect on the impact of the Pandemic, we know there are significant changes ahead for Penumbra and the wider health and social care system. We are grateful that Mike shares our values and that he brings a skillset and commitment that will be welcomed by the Penumbra team.

“Nigel has worked for Penumbra for over 30 years and his dedication has been an inspiration to those of us who have had the honour of working with him. He has never wavered in his commitment to ensuring that the mental health system and its services respond well to people who experience mental ill health and/or emotional distress, and his leadership has enabled Penumbra to continually innovate and improve. His vision for Penumbra has enabled us to develop pioneering services and contribute to significant public policy discussions. He has been particularly committed to Peer Working in mental health recovery and shaping a culture that ensures the voice of people with lived experience is heard and respected. This work will continue but Nigel will be greatly missed and we wish him every luck in his next chapter.”



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