Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Bideford charity celebrates 40 years and welcomes new chief executive

PUBLISHED: 12:50 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:50 05 February 2018

Handing over the keys of Northam Lodge to new chief executive Dr Len Lofts (centre) is former head Charlie Dixon (right) with chairman of trustees Chris Fulford.

Handing over the keys of Northam Lodge to new chief executive Dr Len Lofts (centre) is former head Charlie Dixon (right) with chairman of trustees Chris Fulford.

Archant

Northam Lodge is turning 40 this year, and has just welcomed a new CEO, Dr Len Lofts, to take over at the helm.

Bideford charity Northam Lodge has a new face at the helm after appointing its new chief executive.

Dr Len Lofts takes over from outgoing CEO Charlie Dixon at the learning disability charity, in the year it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Dr Lofts has previously worked for Wellbeing Services Devon and United Response, and hopes to lead Northam Lodge in developing its support for people with profound and multiple learning and physical disabilities and complex needs.

Dr Lofts has more than 40 years’ experience working with people with learning disabilities, beginning as a social worker for Norfolk Social Services.

Northam Lodge’s new chief executive Dr Len Lofts. Northam Lodge’s new chief executive Dr Len Lofts.

His personal interest to improve services began with an uncle who had a learning disability, who was supported by Dr Lofts’ grandparents at home.

Dr Lofts has also worked for Barnardo’s in London, Bucks Social Services, Mencap and the Fremantle Trust in Buckinghamshire, where he was CEO.

A trained psychotherapist, Dr Lofts also ran his own management consultancy business in the UK and abroad, which included work with Scope and a range of statutory, private, independent and charity organisations across social care, education, housing and employment.

Speaking on his appointment, Dr Lofts, who lives in Welcombe, said: “I am looking forward to building on the massive commitment and achievements made by Charlie Dixon, the trustees, staff, families, carers and the people they support.

“It is not easy to sustain services and grow them, particularly for people with profound and multiple disabilities and complex needs where the costs are much higher, but they have done just that.

“Joining them to build on what they have achieved is a real honour and opportunity for me.

“I live in North Devon and I am looking forward to developing links with organisations in the area across all sectors.

“Even at a time when there are severe funding cuts to social care provision (there have always been funding cuts throughout my career in social care), there remain opportunities to grow services and service quality and to sustain the really important work that Northam Lodge has developed over 40 years.

“It is a privilege for me to be given the opportunity to make a contribution to this. I am excited by it and looking forward to working with such a committed group of people.”

Handing over the keys of Northam Lodge to Dr Lofts, Charlie Dixon, who has led the charity for more than 10 years and is leaving to pursue a career in counselling, said: “It’s been a great 10 years at Northam Lodge and I’ve really loved working with our colleagues, volunteers, the people we support and their families.

“I’m sad to leave but delighted to be handing over to someone with Len’s skills and experience to take the charity forward.”

Chairman of trustees, Chris Fulford, added: “We are eternally grateful to Charlie for his 10 years’ dedicated service and wish him the best for his future.

“Welcome Len, and may you continue to expand our services to the disabled in North Devon.”

Other News Stories

Hundreds of ladies turned out in a neon flurry last night (Saturday) for North Devon Hospice’s Nightwalk event.

Read more

Reports have come in of a collision involving a cyclist on the A39 this afternoon (Sunday) near Brendon.

Read more

There are reports of queueing traffic and delays to bus services between Barnstaple and Braunton today (Sunday).

Read more
09:00

Community groups and businesses are invited to bid for a £25,000 cash pot to help keep North Devon unspoilt.

Read more

A Northam man who hopes to have bagged a Guinness World Record has handed over a cheque for more than £3,000 to Children’s Hospice South West.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:15

A two vehicle collision is causing delays on the A361 in Barnstaple today (Saturday).

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

Take a look at our ten favourite pictures sent in by Gazette readers for our ‘landscape’ photo challenge.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:16

Crowds gathered on Barnstaple Square today (Saturday) to watch and celebrate the royal wedding.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Young people in North Devon will be given the opportunity to learn about computer coding this summer.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:44

It’s the final day of the Devon County Show, and while the sun is shining, the traffic leading up to the entrance is also heavy.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications