Working alongside our executive team, Sense chief executive Richard Kramer is responsible for ensuring that we plan and carry out our activities in line with our strategy, vision and our values. Richard and the team report to the board of trustees.
Richard Kramer, CEO
Richard was appointed Sense and Sense International chief executive in July 2018, having joined as deputy chief executive in 2013.
“As chief executive I want to make a real difference and bring positive change for the children, adults and families we support. I am passionate about recognising and championing the role of our front line staff in delivering social care, that people have choice and control over their lives, and that the individuals we support and our families are at the forefront of all that we do.
“My role is to provide clear vision and leadership to run Sense effectively and efficiently and to ensure we understand each other’s perspective, bring passion to our work, and be motivated by empathy and compassion. What is special about Sense is that the nature of our work means that our staff and volunteers develop close and intimate connections with the individuals we support.”
Maria Horton, group director of operations
Maria joined Sense in 2015 as director of operational services. She has responsibility for leading Sense Specialist Services, Sense College, Sense Supported Living, Sense Residential Care and Sense in the community. Maria is Sense’s Nominated Individual with the CQC.
“I feel very lucky to work for Sense as I truly believe that the people we support and their families are at the heart of the charity. I am incredibly proud of my staff and the high quality opportunities they deliver.
“I feel that we all share a collective passion to make a real and lasting difference to the lives of people who are deafblind and those with complex needs and to ensure that no one is left out of life and everyone is supported to fulfil their aspirations.”
Cathy Still, group director of finance and resources
Cathy joined Sense in 2017 and is responsible for providing financial systems and support across the whole business, as well as generating financial information for the management team.
“I feel privileged to work for an organisation delivering much needed services, and excited to work with the brilliant team we have here at Sense.”
Adrian Darkin, director of trading
Adrian joined Sense in February 2014. He is responsible for the Trading Directorate, which generates income for the organisation through our hundred plus shops.
“I feel inspired working for Sense as I have had the privilege to meet just some of the people we support through volunteering on a Sense Holiday, our campaigning and our activities across the country. I feel incredibly lucky to lead a trading team who can connect the public to support this work through the shops.”
Emma Evans, director of people
Emma joined the Sense team in August 2021 and is responsible for leading our people team, comprising of HR, learning and development, internal communications as well as our people services and systems.
“I was drawn to Sense by the focus of our work in supporting people with complex disabilities – this is a point of personal pride for me as I thrive in seeing people achieve both personal and professional goals. Working somewhere that makes a clear, tangible difference to so many people is amazing – the people we support are always the key focus in everything we do.
“In the people team, that means how we enable and engage our employees to bring their best selves to work. If our people are happy in their work then this will follow through into the care and provision of services we offer.”
Alison Marshall, director of Sense International
Alison joined Sense International in March 2017 and is responsible for all of its operations and strategic growth and direction.
“I am inspired by the work that Sense International colleagues do across the world supporting people with deafblindness. Many people with deafblindness live in poverty and remote places, yet our staff and partner organisations reach them, and lives are transformed. We train thousands of people every year which reduces stigma and discrimination against people with deafblindness and enables them to be included in societies.
“As ever, it’s the people that make the job, and I feel very lucky to work with such amazing colleagues across the SI UK team, the international teams and of course the people with deafblindness and their families too.”
Jonathan Monk, director of operations
Jonathan joined Sense in 2015 and is responsible for leading Sense Holidays and Short Breaks programme; quality assurance and safeguarding; volunteering; and business development.
“Sense is a very special and unique place to work – the people are extremely talented and committed to doing the best job to enable the people we support to live good and fulfilling lives. I’m incredibly proud to work at Sense and routinely feel inspired when I hear about the achievements of both our staff and the people we support.
“I lead on tackling loneliness and isolation, something that we have all experienced and can relate to at one time or another in our lives – to be part of an organisation that takes this so seriously as well as take action to raise awareness and provide practical support is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”
Louise Robertshaw, group director of engagement
Louise joined Sense in 2022 and is responsible for leading our growth through fundraising, trading, brand and communications, public policy and campaigning.
“I am inspired every day by the Sense community and its determination to always find a way to meet the needs of people with complex disabilities or who are deafblind, so they can live their lives to the full.”
Tony Colson, director of ICT
Tony joined Sense in 2019 and is responsible for ICT strategy and operational delivery of ICT services across the organisation both corporately and to the individuals we support.
“I love working at Sense. Every day is different but every day combines two things I’m passionate about: making a difference in the world and technology. My teams look after the tech infrastructure for the whole of Sense. So one day we could be fitting out a new shop, the next day setting up tablets so people with complex disabilities can communicate and experience the world.”
Fiona Markey, head of governance
Fiona joined Sense in 2011 and has responsibility for governance, including the board, data protection and non-clinical regulators.
“This is one of the best organisations I have worked for, not only because of my great colleagues on the executive team, but also because of the depth of commitment and the skills of so many of the people who work here. Sense continues to innovate and find ways to offer new services to enable people to live their lives to the full, which is why I love working here.”