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Diabetes UK appoints new Chief Executive

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Diabetes UK has today announced that Chris Askew will join the organisation as its new Chief Executive.

He will take up the role on 14 September, taking over from Barbara Young who has led the charity over the last five years.

In his new role Chris will lead the charity, which had a turnover of £41.8 million in 2014 and employs over 380 people, in its mission to improve life for everyone affected by and at risk of diabetes.

Chris has excellent experience in the charity sector, working most recently as Chief Executive at Breakthrough Breast Cancer, having initially joined the organisation as Director of Fundraising. Here he oversaw considerable growth in income, charitable spend and profile and then negotiated the ground breaking merger to form Breast Cancer Now. Prior to that he held senior management fundraising positions at Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Crisis and Action for Children.

Chris joins Diabetes UK at a hugely exciting stage in its development. Over the past five years the charity has delivered an ambitious strategy which has repositioned Type 2 diabetes as the fastest growing health threat in the UK, highlighted failings in diabetes healthcare provision for all types of diabetes and brought about improved services and support for people with diabetes and their families from both Diabetes UK and the NHS.  The charity has made the case for more active prevention programmes for Type 2 diabetes and is playing a key role in the development of the National Diabetes Prevention Programme in England.  It has also increased income by 45%, which includes high-level corporate partnerships with Bupa and Tesco.  This growth has enabled it also to increase its research programmes in care, prevention and cure.

Barbara Young said:  “I am pleased to be able to hand over to someone of Chris’s experience and am confident that, with the skills of Chris and the Executive Team on board, the charity will be well placed to grow in resources, influence and impact and take full advantage of the fact that there is widespread acceptance that diabetes is an issue whose time has at long last come.  Diabetes UK has grown by almost 45% in the last four years and diabetes is now firmly on the map in all four countries of the UK, both of which are a real tribute to the team we have developed here.  I am proud of what we have been able to do as a team of staff, trustees and volunteers for people with diabetes and their families.”

Sir Peter Dixon, Chairman of Diabetes UK, said: “Barbara’s tireless energy and commitment to improve life for people affected by and at risk of diabetes has been the driving force behind the charity’s significant achievements over the last five years. We are immensely grateful for the profound positive impact she has made on behalf of people who are living with and at risk of diabetes and their families.”

“We undertook a rigorous process to appoint our new Chief Executive and were impressed by Chris’ breadth of experience, drive and commitment to the cause and our vision. We very much look forward to welcoming him to our ambitious organisation to take it forwards and upwards, building on the sound achievements of the last five years.”

Chris Askew said:  “I am delighted to have been appointed as Diabetes UK’s next Chief Executive and to join a charity with such a great track record of success and with so much ambition to do more for people with diabetes. Barbara leaves a huge legacy of achievement and I look forward to building on this as I take the charity forwards over the coming years.”

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