Key Appointments at SpotlightYOPD: Comments from the Chair

I would like to introduce you to Carl Beech – an  Author, keynote speaker, leadership consultant, broadcaster and entrepreneur. Carl is already been a CEO of a number of charities and in addition to being experienced in campaigning, brings new energy and ideas to Spotlight YOPD.

I am delighted to be able to announce, that following a rigorous recruitment process that we have managed to secure an excellent new CEO to take forward the work of Spotlight YOPD. 

I would like to introduce you to Carl Beech – an  Author, keynote speaker, leadership consultant, broadcaster and entrepreneur. Carl is already been a CEO of a number of charities and in addition to being experienced in campaigning, brings new energy and ideas to Spotlight YOPD.

Carl takes up his new post from 1 September 2023. He succeeds Gaynor Edwards, who recently announced her intention to stand down. 

Carl was diagnosed with YOPD earlier this year and as he said “Not being someone to crawl under a rock in the face of bad news” has decided to be proactive in understanding YOPD and raising awareness of this rare condition.  Gaynor found Carl after seeing a TikTok post and it was Gaynor who first brought Carl to the attention of the Board and suggested he apply for the CEO role. 

Carl is married to Karen and has two adult daughters and one granddaughter. 

After several years in London as a salesman for a Bank, he left to devote his energies to the Charity sector which he has stayed in for the last 27 years. He has extensive experience as a senior leader, Board Chair, CEO, and Charity founder. He speaks regularly at various conferences and festivals and also writes, podcasts and broadcasts about faith and community transformation. His particular focus in recent years has been tackling acute deprivation. 

He enjoys sporting challenges and has run the London, Snowdonia, and Chesterfield Marathons, cycled from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, Calais to Nice, the length of Italy, from the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and Port Elizabeth to Cape Town. He is determined to run another marathon in the face of YOPD. He is also an obsessive gardener and has a thing for Bonsai trees! 

I would like to personally thank Gaynor Edwards– founder of Spotlight YOPD, for setting up the Charity and giving us Purpose.  

Over the years, Gaynor has “stuck to her guns” and continued to raise the profile of YOPD, often in the face of scepticism and opposition. Key achievements include: 

  • Getting a question raised by an MP so YOPD was discussed in parliament in 2017? 
  • Gaynor presented for the first time globally (EVE 2019) the issues that women with YOPD have, including the fact that hormones affect the efficacy of the Parkinson drugs and therefore have variable impact across every month.
  • Gaynor and Spotlight YOPD were the first Charity to represent YOPD globally on stage at World Parkinson Congress in 2019.
  • 2023 – Gaynor gave the opening address at World Parkinsons Congress in Barcelona.
  • 2023 WPC, Gaynor and Spotlight YOPD Trustees manned a stand called the “YOPD Village” and showcased work undertaken across the world to raise awareness of both YOPD and specifically the effect of YOPD within the female community. Key highlights included: 
    • A graffiti Wall – It told a fantastic tale with all the comments, pictures and poems left by people with YOPD. The YOPD community used their incredible creativity to turn this blank canvas into a work of art. 
    • We have had requests from a number of other YOPD organizations and Parkinsons Nurses if they can have copies of the posters produced by Spotlight YOPD with help from OpenHealth.  
    • We were asked what our research priorities are from researchers.
    • Lots of people (internationally) positively commented about the awareness video published last April by OpenHealth and Spotlight YOPD.

I am pleased to announce that Gaynor has agreed to remain with us as Patron of Spotlight YOPD. 

There is still a great deal to do – and I and the Board, look forward to working with Carl to make an equally big impact going forward. 

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