Beverley Dean MBE will start work with The Josephine and Jack Project in October, with current CEO, Simon James, due to leave at Christmas after a handover period. 

Beverley Dean has worked for over 12 years in the North East charity sector, helping transform the lives of people with learning difficulties through educational technology. Inspired by her son, who has Down syndrome and autism, she founded Special iApps in 2011, to create award winning educational apps that could be personalised for each individual learner to support their educational attainment and progress, speech and language development, as well as improving fine motor skills, self-esteem and self-confidence.

She says: ““I’m delighted to be joining The Josephine and Jack Project team and contributing to the important work it does. I’m particularly looking forward to working with the wonderful groups and clients the organisation supports and helping Josephine and Jack to reach a wider audience. I can’t wait to get started!”

Outgoing CEO Simon James has led the Josephine and Jack Project since it became a registered charity in 2016. During that time, he has raised more than £400,000 in income and grants for the project and led it to success in the National Diversity Awards 2019, winning the Community Organisation of the Year (Disability) category. He secured three years’ core funding for the project from the National Lottery and developed new areas of work for the charity, including one-to-one and online support for people with learning disabilities. During his tenure, the Josephine and Jack Project has supported more than 700 people and run over 60 courses.

Simon says: “I've been with The Josephine and Jack Project for over eight years, with five of those as CEO, and it's time to let someone else take over while we're in a great position as far as work and funding are concerned.  I consider this to have been the professional role of my life and it has been an honour and privilege to work alongside such brilliant staff and to have been supported by such amazing trustees. It hasn't been an easy decision to leave but it feels like absolutely the right one. I wish Beverley and the team every success in the future.”

Chair of Trustees, Angela Schlenkhoff-Hus, says: “The Josephine and Jack Project is in a strong position due to all the hard work that Simon has put into it in his leadership of the charity. He has successfully steered it through the pandemic, constantly innovating and seeking new opportunities while ensuring it stays true to its mission, vision, and purpose. We are very sad to see him go and wish him all the very best for his future endeavours. We also feel lucky that we have found his successor in Beverley Dean – with her mixture of leadership experience, setting up her own business and personal experience of the cause, we are confident that she will robustly guide The Josephine and Jack Project into its next phase. As trustees, we look forward to working with her.”