Caroline Rassell to join Parkinson’s UK as chief executive 

18 Jun 2021 News

Caroline Rassell, chief executive at Parkinson’s UK

Parkinson’s UK

Caroline Rassell will join Parkinson’s UK as the charity’s new chief executive later this year. 

She will join on 1 September 2021, taking over the role from Shān Nicholas who has been interim chief executive since January this year. 

Rassell has more than 20 years of board experience in healthcare and government roles. Most recently she has been working with Versus Arthritis to undertake a strategic review of the impact of its services. 

Rassell said: “It’s clear from everyone I’ve met and everything I’ve seen already, that at the heart of the charity is a collective of people with a passion to make a real and lasting difference to people living with Parkinson’s, their families and friends.”

She added that she believes the charity “is already going in the right direction with their pioneering plans”.

She said: “I’m looking forward to working with the staff, researchers, healthcare professionals, members, volunteers and the wider Parkinson’s community to make sure that the future continues in the same vein. Putting people affected by the condition at the heart of the groundbreaking and vitally important work. This is something that I’ve always strived to do in my work, and I’m excited to be taking it forward when I join later this year.”

Rassell is also a trustee at Farleigh Hospice and non-executive director of Active Essex.

Gary Shaughnessy, chair of Parkinson’s UK, said  “We’re delighted to be welcoming Caroline to Parkinson’s UK. During a thorough recruitment process which involved representatives from across the Parkinson’s community and charity, we were all thoroughly impressed by her leadership skills and alignment with our core values. 

“Caroline’s experience in transforming services and engaging diverse groups in health care in the largest CCG in Essex will be of direct benefit to the Parkinson’s community.  

“In Caroline, we've found a proven leader who will continue to make sure that the needs of people with Parkinson’s are at the heart of everything that we do. Under her leadership, and with the full commitment of our colleagues, we will continue to push on with our ambitious aims in research and support working towards finding a cure and improving life for everybody affected by Parkinson’s.” 

Data on the Charity Commission website for the financial year ending 31 December 2019 puts the charity’s total income at more than £47m and expenditure at around £38m.

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