Ruth Owen OBE
Whizz-Kidz Chief Executive
A wheelchair user from the age of seven, Ruth believes passionately in the importance of independent mobility in a child’s life. Ruth forged a successful career in the private sector, in technologies, eventually setting up and running her own IT company for ten years. For several years Ruth was a Trustee of children’s charity Barnardo’s.
Ruth joined Whizz-Kidz as Chief Executive in 2004. Ruth has led the charity to become the biggest provider of powered and light weight manual wheelchairs for disabled children outside of the NHS, and one of the leading campaigning organisations in the sector. Ruth was acknowledged in The Queen’s Birthday Honours list in 2012, and awarded the OBE in recognition of her services to disabled children and young people. Under Ruth’s guidance, Whizz-Kidz aims to ensure that every disabled child has an opportunity to be something special…a kid.
Director of Finance
Frank was appointed Director of Finance in January 2010, with additional responsibilities for Human Resources, Information Technology and Administration.
Frank joined Whizz-Kidz following a lengthy and varied career with the healthcare company Bausch & Lomb, where most recently he held the post of Finance Director for their UK and Ireland marketing subsidiary. Frank is an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.
Ian supports Whizz-Kidz’s work with NHS Partnerships, co-ordinates responses to public sector tenders and has responsibility for Whizz-Kidz Quality Assurance system.
Before working at Whizz-Kidz, Ian worked in NHS wheelchair services for 28 years, where he was primarily responsible for contacting wheelchair repair and maintenance services. He also represented the NHS Purchasing and Supply Agency on several national initiatives.
Ian is also a sitting volleyball coach, he coached the GB Men’s team at the 2012 London Paralympics and is currently coaching GB Women’s Sitting Volleyball team. Ian is married to Linda and is his spare time you’ll find him running and lifting weights.
Director of Partnerships
Nick joined Whizz-Kidz as NHS Partnerships Director in November 2011 following four years of pro bono support from his role as a European Buying Manager for Tesco, and became Director of Partnerships in July 2015. Nick has worked in a variety of blue chip procurement roles over a 15 year period including buyer for the DLR City Airport extension, BAA Pavement Team, Mitsubishi Electric Europe and over three years as a timber buyer based in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Nick’s role is developing partnerships across the charity to support the future sustainability of our services. During his spare time Nick is a keen triathlete, cyclist and marathon runner having run the London Marathon twice, completed 7 triathlons and cycled 975miles from Lands End to John O’Groats.
Head of Clinical Services
Judith is a Physiotherapist with 18 years experience of working for the NHS within the field of paediatrics. She joined Whizz-Kidz in August 2001 as a Mobility Therapist in the North West, and now leads our clinical team throughout the UK to implement Child in a Chair in a Day and to clinically manage Whizz-Kidz NHS Partnerships.
During her spare Judith enjoys participating in a number of sporting activities, cycling, squash, and tennis.
Head of Service Delivery
Maria was appointed as Head of Service Delivery in May 2007. She is responsible for the customer journey from enquiry to handover of equipment and after-care ensuring that our beneficiaries’ journeys are as seamless and uncomplicated as possible. She is also responsible for evaluating the service delivery process and ensuring that it remains efficient and effective and that innovation is at the forefront of the department.
Maria’s career has focused on service delivery and customer services. Initially in the private sector she setup and led a 24/7 multi lingual call-centre in 2000. In 2005 she started project managing various healthcare projects for the NHS and various private health providers. Evaluating and improving systems and processes is second nature to her and she loves the challenge of ensuring that the best service possible is provided.
Maria likes bike riding and running, cooking, entertaining and socialising with friends. Maria lives with her son Chris and her cat Luna.