Gloucestershire Deaf Association

Executive Search

Gloucestershire Deaf Association

Chief Executive Officer

Executive Search

Gloucestershire Deaf Association (GDA) provides vital practical and emotional support to children, young people, and adults living in Gloucestershire who are deaf or hard of hearing.

With roots which date back to 1919, they have grown significantly in size and impact to be a charity that is innovative and leading the way for services for the people and community they serve.

As a user-led organisation, people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing are at the heart of everything that they do. All their services and support aim to reduce social isolation and enable people to live life to the fullest. They reach out to all deaf people, including people who use BSL as their first language and those who have hearing loss acquired through illness or injury.

They also recognise, embrace, and respect the needs of people from linguistic and cultural minority groups and equally offer support to people who may experience emotional loss when their hearing deteriorates or they become deafened

From our first meeting, Philip’s approach was one of openness and collaboration. He took the time to listen and understand our circumstances and aspirations then provided thoughtful guidance on how to achieve the best possible outcome for our charity. Philip’s in-depth knowledge of the current recruitment market and his considered yet adaptable approach ensured a successful executive search that met our unique requirements.

Philip presented the role and organisational background in an engaging and professional manner (including a full BSL translation) and promoted it through well chosen channels and individual approaches. This attracted significant interest, far beyond what we could have generated without Philip’s input.

At each stage of the process, we received succinct summaries of potential candidates containing relevant information and recommendations. Philip also knew when we needed bespoke guidance on how to move the process forward and was available very flexibly to answer any questions that arose. In the background there had clearly been many hours of research and preparation, numerous conversations with prospective applicants whether this was to encourage applications or clarify their questions ahead of applying and time dedicated to the sensitive task of providing feedback to applicants.

As a voluntary Board all these elements were invaluable as they removed the heavy time burden we would otherwise have faced and meant we felt reassured by the thoroughness and expertise being applied to this crucial leadership recruitment. We would highly recommend Philip’s services to any organisation seeking to appoint a new leadership role.”

Nicole Hastie, Co-Chair of Trustees

Their expectations were rightly high. Their new Chief Executive would need to hit the ground running and quickly gain the trust of their dedicated, passionate, and high-performing team, all of whom are incredibly proud of being part of GDA and celebrating Deaf Culture.

They sought an inspirational leader and a strategic thinker with the credibility and authority to forge new approaches, with excellent business skills. Someone able to demonstrate a strong empathy for their values, aims, and objectives; who possesses excellent engagement, presentation, and people skills; and who would bring a communication style which is inclusive and self-assured.

They would also need the ability to direct and help to further develop and transform GDA into one of the leading not-for-profits in Gloucestershire to meet the changing and evolving needs of the D/deaf and hard of hearing community; demonstrate resilience and strength of character and be able to build strong relationships with all those they serve and with their key stakeholders and funders.


New Chief Executive Officer

The success of the campaign resulted in the appointment of Danielle Neale. Danielle has over 15 years of experience at Director level in the Public Sector, including working across the MoJ and NHS and has over 7 years of experience working in the Third Sector.

She has supported a range of charities and social enterprise organisations to achieve organisational growth and financial viability and to enhance partnership opportunities and she has successfully mentored several Chief Executive Officers to help them innovate and continue to grow their organisations.

To complement these strong business, financial and leadership skills, Danielle has also operated as a Non-Executive Director in both the Public and Third sectors.

“Delighted to be leading such an important local charity into an exciting new period, I am looking forward to working with my team and GDA’s partners to continue the excellent work.” – Danielle Neale.

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