Sense Scotland Chair to step down
The Chair of Sense Scotland, Roy Cox OBE, has today announced that he will step down at the charity’s AGM in September this year.
Mr Cox was one of a small group of families who founded Sense Scotland, after pressing for services to support their deafblind children. The charity was formalised in 1985, with Mr Cox taking over as the Chair of the Board soon after.
His daughter Cheryl was one of the first people in Scotland to benefit from specialist education and touch signing, giving the family one of life’s greatest gifts – the ability to communicate.
Mr Cox said: “Our dream in the early days was to have the ability to express our feelings and love for our daughter Cheryl. This is now possible, thanks to the support of Sense Scotland, and she even reciprocates her feelings back to us, which means more than anything.”
Mr Cox was awarded the OBE in January 2015 for services to the deafblind community in Scotland. The organisation grew from a small office in Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, involving seven families, to one which today employs more than 1000 staff the length and breadth of the country.
Throughout his tenure as Chair, Sense Scotland has supported thousands of families and individuals in a variety of settings including independent living, day services, respite and a host of specialist programmes including Family Advisory Services, Early Years, One Giant Leap transition programme and the Partners in Communication initiative. He has also overseen the expansion of the TouchBase model from its flagship centre in Glasgow to new TouchBases in Ayrshire and Lanarkshire. The charity has 16 charity shops and has a turnover of £23million.
Mr Cox said that it had been a privilege to work with a wide range of people to create an organisation that enabled disabled children and adults to thrive.
He added: “Together we have created an organisation that will care for our children throughout their lives when we are long gone. After all, that is why we all went through those difficult times, but my – what satisfaction there is in seeing the people we support flourish, given the gift of communication. I am confident that our organisation will continue to grow, helping many more families live a life that most take for granted.”
Mr Cox has spent 40 years establishing and guiding Sense Scotland, and the Board and staff thank him for his inspiring leadership and vision.