A north-east charity has announced the appointment of its first chief executive officer (CEO).
Margaret Hodder, chairperson for the Grampian Autistic Society (GAS), said Billy Alexander’s appointment is the reflection of the charity’s growth plans and its ambitions to expand its provision into rural Aberdeenshire.
She stated: “We are delighted to welcome Billy as our CEO and are confident his experience, skills and passion will equip him well for leading our charity forward and realising our ambitious expansion plans.”
Billy, who has more than 15 years’ experience working in the third sector, said: “I am delighted to be appointed the first CEO of Grampian Autistic Society.
“It is a privilege to join such a vital organisation and I look forward to working with such a committed team to provide the highest quality support to those with autism and their families.
“Thanks to the board and dedicated team, there is a solid foundation upon which to build, and I look forward to doing just that.
“Seeing my nephew who has autism grow into a kind and tenacious young man and overcoming a range of societal barriers, had a strong influence on me and sharpened my ambition to work with GAS.”
Billy thinks there are gaps in funding and support, which, together with a lack of understanding of autism, can create a difficult environment in which these people can grow and prosper.
He said: “Individuals of all ages with autism and their families continue to face challenges and barriers in their everyday life, and regularly experience the iniquities of inequality and judgement prevalent across Scotland.
“With the call for a new role of commissioner to champion the rights of people with autism and learning disabilities, I believe that this is the time for Grampian Autistic Society to empower individuals and their families to be front and centre in the campaign to ensure that they receive the crucial support needed, that they shape the new services to come and that they are able to realise their rights and their status as equal citizens.”