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Nordoff Robbins appoints new CEO

UK-based music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins appoints Sandra Schembri as CEO, effective from 5 November

By Anna Grace on 05 Sep 2019

Nordoff Robbins appoints Sandra Schembri as CEO

Sandra Schembri


Sandra Schembri will be the new chief executive of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, taking over from Julie Whelan who retires later this year.

Schembri has spent the past ten years as chief executive of homeless charity and members’ club the House of St Barnabas. She has previously held positions at Bloomberg, the Royal Academy of Arts and Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club.

“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,” says Schembri.

“I’m looking forward to working to make music therapy more readily available for people affected by life-limiting illness, disability and isolation,” adds the incoming chief executive.

Nordoff Robbins chairman David Munns comments: “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.”

“I’m looking forward to working to make music therapy more readily available for people affected by life-limiting illness, disability and isolation”

Munns states that Schembri was a “stand-out candidate” and “a proven leader with the experience and energy to help us achieve [our] goal.”

During her five-year tenure, outgoing chief executive Whelan doubled the number of people the charity supports through music therapy and increased the number of therapists employed by the charity.

Whelan also led the merger with Nordoff Robbins’ sister organisation in Scotland and oversaw the launch of a third training base in Newcastle, adding to already established centres in Manchester and London.

Schembri will join Nordoff Robbins as incoming chief executive on 7 October, before Whelan formally stands down on 5 November.

Nordoff Robbins works in partnership with care homes, schools and hospitals to enrich the lives of vulnerable people through music.  The charity’s Get Loud campaign (which enables fans to see artists at intimate venues) is designed to raise awareness of the work it does.


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