Disabilities Trust comms chief Rye stands down

Special needs charity the Disabilities Trust is losing its director of corporate affairs James Rye. He plans to retire in March.

Chief executive Colin Hedley is expected to begin the hunt for a new comms chief at the end of this month. He said he wanted
a like-for-like replacement who could consolidate Rye's work in developing the charity's PR functions.

'I'm coming to the end of a five-year plan which has developed our profile in the care sector, built our service marketing, set up a public
affairs team and improved our fundraising capabilities,' Rye told PRWeek.

'My replacement will need to take that to the next level, but also build our internal comms function. We have a turnover of £36m and over 1,400 staff, so communicating with them is a crucial part of our operation.'

Disabilities Trust provides personal care and specialist housing. Its lobbying team campaigns on issues around autism, brain injuries, special needs education and charity regulation. Rye joined the charity in 2001 after spending more than 12 years at Scope.

In 1994 he oversaw the latter's rebrand from The Spastics Society, and its subsequent publicity campaign.

His replacement will take charge of a five-strong team based in West Sussex, reporting to Hedley.

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