Sam Heath joins the charity from Age Concern where he was senior media relations officer for 18 months. Before that, he was senior communications officer at the National Association of Local Councils.
Heath reports in to head of communications Alexandra Holden and leads a team of six. He replaces Helen Eldridge, who left the charity at the end of July and is now freelancing.
Mencap is part of the Learning Disability Coalition, which has 10 members including the British Institute of Learning Disabilities, the Down’s Syndrome Association and Carers UK.
The coalition is about to ramp up its media relations to highlight the negative effect that cuts to social care services are having on people with learning disabilities.
Mencap will take the lead on the media work, using case studies and straight news stories in both regional and national press, particularly targeting the health and social affairs sectors.
Mencap is also about to start media relations around ‘The Little Noise Sessions’ hosted by Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley and featuring performances from Snow Patrol, Kate Nash and the Pigeon Detectives.
Last year the gigs raised £80,000 for the charity.