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 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.
Director of Services
Jon Sawford joined us in October 2016 as our Operations and Services Director.
He has responsibility for Clinical services, young people’s life skills services and our NHS Services at Tower Hamlets and Southend Wheel Chair Services.
Jon joined from a lengthy career in the private sector working in FTSE 100 companies across Automotive Services, Financial Services and Utilities in senior operational roles.
Jon is an advanced open water diver and has a keen interest in the welfare of our oceans and the sea life they support.
Director of People and Engagement
Following a long stint in HR in the Publishing sector, Tania decided to broaden her horizons. As a result, she joined Whizz-Kidz as part-time Director of People and Engagement for Whizz Kidz, while continuing to coach individuals, and deliver leadership programmes in a variety of sectors.
Previously, Tania led the HR function of Nature and Macmillan, one of the world’s most renowned scientific, academic and education publishers, during a period of transformation from a regionally organised, traditional, print-based business to a global digital and data-driven information provider.
She is passionate about helping individuals reach their full potential, and in so doing, creating an environment where all colleagues can thrive
Director of Fundraising
Malcolm brings over 20 years’ experience in the not for profit sector, specifically within fundraising, marketing and communications. He joined Whizz-Kidz in January 2017, coming from the British Lung Foundation. Malcolm has worked across a range of not for profit organisations, after a ten year career in the political sector, working as a party agent for the Conservatives.
Malcolm is working with Whizz-Kidz to further develop partnership and innovative projects that engage and excite our donors and add value to the lives of those with whom we work. During his spare time, you can find Malcolm and his dog Roxy patrolling the canals of North London.
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.