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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Surprise departure as CEO leaves charity


One of the UK's leading charities

Mencap CEO and former Cornerstone chief executive Edel Harris is stepping down for her post.

So far there has been no announcement on what Harris’s next career move will be with Jackie O’Sullivan, executive director for communications, advocacy and activism at the charity becoming acting chief executive while a successor is found.

Harris has spent three and half years at the learning disability charity where last year she was paid around £205,000.

In a statement, Harris said: “I have loved working at Mencap, and I am particularly proud of leading the organisation during the pandemic and of building a great executive team. 

“It has been my honour to work alongside so many committed and hardworking people. I wish Mencap all the very best in their future endeavours for the UK to be the best place for people with a learning disability to live happy and healthy lives.”

Harris took the post in January 2020, having been chief executive of Aberdeen-based Cornerstone since May 2008. In 2021, she was awarded an OBE.

A former Metropolitan police officer, Harris served as the first female president of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. She was also one of the first directors of Opportunity North East (ONE), former chair of The Life Changes Trust and former chair of the Scottish Government's Social Investment Fund.

Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, chair of Mencap, said “We wish Edel all the very best in the future. She has been fully committed to leading Mencap and improving the lives of people with a learning disability. 

“She leaves behind her a strong leadership team and an organisation determined to do its absolute best. We are very grateful to her for her contribution.”



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