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Neil Richardson appointed as new Chief Executive

Turning Point Scotland  is delighted to announce the appointment of Neil Richardson as our new Chief Executive. 

Sheila Fazal, the Chair of Turning Point Scotland said of the appointment:

“ Neil will join us in January and will lead an organisation supporting over 21,000 people to improve their life, lifestyles and life expectations. Neil will work with a staff of 1,200 people, currently working in 22 local authority areas. Neil’s role will also include leading our partnerships with local and national government, national agencies and health boards.

“We were pleasantly surprised at the volume and quality of applications for the Chief Executive role and after an extensive, thorough and rigorous process there was an overwhelming consensus amongst our board that Neil was the right person to take our charity forward while cherishing our core values and ethos.”

The structure of Turning Point Scotland and its variety of services are underpinned by the belief that a sense of worth, belonging and purpose are at the heart of wellbeing. The charity provides support to adults with complex needs such as alcohol and drug misuse, learning disabilities, autism, neurological conditions, homelessness, mental health issues and people in the justice system.

The Chief Executive vacancy occurred when Martin Cawley left the role after nearly eight successful years to join Big Lottery Scotland. Sheila Fazal said the Board had sought feedback from staff and previous service users to profile the attributes a new Chief Executive would need to replace Martin and move the organisation forward.

Sheila said:  “We were looking for someone who was passionate about Turning Point Scotland and its goals and development. Someone to complement the sector expertise and experience of the executive team and staff and who will work collaboratively to build on that experience.


“In addition, given the changing landscape ahead and the uncertain operating environment we are experiencing we also needed someone who has a track record of dealing with challenges and difficult issues.

“We are confident that someone is Neil Richardson.

“The Board and the executive team are looking forward to working closely with Neil and will provide him with any necessary support.”

Neil Richardson, who has worked extensively in the public sector for three decades most recently as Deputy Chief Constable with Police Scotland and was awarded an OBE for his services to policing, said he was proud and honoured to take up the role of Chief Executive with Turning Point Scotland.

Neil said: “I am joining one of Scotland’s most respected social care charities, an organisation that offers a better future for some of the most vulnerable in our society. My role will be to work with Turning Point Scotland’s dedicated team and learn the complexities of their work and together move this great charity forward while upholding its ethos and values.

“I am an experienced leader with over 30 years in the Scottish public sector. During this time I have worked directly with many organisations including those within the social care sector. I offer a proven track record of business success, organisational change and partnership working which I hope will add real value to the strategic aspirations of Turning Point Scotland. It is an honour for me to have the opportunity to play a part in such a worthwhile organisation.”


Neil Richardson Biography

1966:         Born in Keith, Moray

1985:         Joined Lothian and Borders Police

1999:         Awarded BA in Social Science from Open University

2003:         Awarded an MBA with distinction from Napier University

2004:         Awarded a diploma in Applied Criminology from Cambridge University.

2006:         Appointed Assistant Chief Constable of Lothian and Borders Police Force

2008:         Appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Strathclyde Police Force

2011:         Awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM)

2012:         Appointed Deputy Chief Constable of Police Scotland

2014:         Awarded an OBE for services to policing in Scotland

2016:         Left Police Scotland in July

Turning Point Scotland

In 1999, Turning Point Scotland was set up as an independent charity, leaving UK wide charity Turning Point.

The mission statement is:

‘Turning Point Scotland provides person centred support to adults with a range of complex needs. We learn from services and seek to influence social policy.’

 There are now 36 services and 1,250 support staff, operating in 22 local authorities stretching from Aberdeenshire and Moray, East, Central and the West of Scotland to Dumfries & Galloway.

Turning Point Scotland provides support to thousands of adults with complex issues such as substance misuse, learning disabilities, autism, neurological conditions, homelessness, mental health issues and a history within the criminal justice system.

Turning Point Scotland takes a person centred approach focusing on the needs of the individual to offer crisis intervention, housing support, care at home, community rehabilitation, residential care and social enterprise.

This person-centred approach making services fit around the individual has for many years been a feature of Turning Point Scotland’s service provision and this is being developed further through approaches to Personalisation and Self-directed Support.

The majority of the income and service delivery is through the tender process commissioning services with local government and national government.

A number of key services have been developed that are helping to influence social policy in Scotland.

For example, Turning Point Scotland 218 supports women in the justice system and is often highlighted by The Scottish Government as a model of good practice that has helped inform their policy towards smaller custodial units for women.

The Housing First approach which Turning Point Scotland has expanded from Glasgow into Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire, is helping to change the thinking around chronic homelessness, making sustaining a tenancy the priority, not abstinence from alcohol or drug misuse.

Turning Point Scotland also participates in new Public Social Partnerships (PSPs) including the HMP Low Moss PSP and Shine Mentoring Service.

Citizenship is a philosophy which has been adopted and developed by Turning Point Scotland.

Defined as ‘an innovative and holistic model for community integration and social inclusion’ the idea of Citizenship is defined as a measure of the strength of an individual’s connection to the 5 R’s of rights, responsibilities, roles, resources, and relationships that society makes available to its members and is designed to address the issue of community disconnection.

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