Sandra Schembri announced as new Nordoff Robbins CEO

Ms Schembri will be taking over from outgoing CEO Julie Whelan who is retiring from the post later in 2019

Sandra is joining Nordoff Robbins from The House of St Barnabas, where as CEO over the past 10 years, she has overseen immense transformation and development of the organisation, turning it into one of the UK’s leading social enterprises working within the homelessness sector. Earlier in her career she worked at Bloomberg, The Royal Academy of Arts and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in a variety of income generation roles.  She is also a music graduate from Middlesex University.

She said: “As someone who’s always had a love of music I’m really excited by the prospect of leading a charity that champions the positive impact it has on people’s health and wellbeing and building on the brilliant work of Julie Whelan and her team over the past five years. But more than that, I’m looking forward to working to make music therapy more readily available for people affected by life-limiting illness, disability and isolation.”

Sandra will join Nordoff Robbins as incoming CEO on 7 October and, after a brief transition period, Julie will formally stand down on 5 November.

During her five-year tenure Julie has doubled the number of people the charity supports through its music therapy and made sure it now employs more music therapists than ever, all while sustaining a focus on providing high quality services. She led the successful merger with Nordoff Robbins’ sister organisation in Scotland and overseen the launch of a third training base in Newcastle to go with the established centres in Manchester and London, which has also undergone a major renovation.

David Munns, Chairman of Nordoff Robbins, said: “As the UK’s largest music therapy charity we have ambitious plans to significantly increase access to our services for those who need it most. Sandra was the stand-out candidate – she is a proven leader with the experience and energy to help us achieve this goal.”