Deafness Research UK announces further senior appointment

Published: Fri Sep 12 2008

John Blake has been appointed the new Head of Individual Giving of medical research charity Deafness Research UK, the country’s leading charity in the field of hearing research and the only national charity dedicated to finding cures for deafness, tinnitus and other hearing problems.

The post has been created to maximise Deafness Research UK’s future revenues from individual donations and legacies.

John was previously with the Motor Neurone Disease Association where he was the Head of Supporter Development overseeing direct marketing, legacies, tribute funds and membership. Prior to that, he worked at the Parkinsons’s Disease Society, the Notting Hill Housing Trust, and Sense.

This latest senior appointment at Deafness Research UK comes shortly after the appointment of Ruwan Perera to the new position of Director of Development. John Blake will work closely with Ruwan and the charity’s CEO, Vivienne Michael, forming the new senior management team who will collectively map out the strategic direction of the charity for the coming months and years.

Deafness Research UK’s CEO, Vivienne Michael, said, "We are embarking on a major change management programme within the charity, to which both John and Ruwan will contribute significantly. John has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the sector and a great track record of achievement. We are confident he will help the charity develop to the next level and generate the funds we need for vital additional research programmes.

"Our Head of Individual Giving will play a major role in attracting further funds from individual donors, expanding our community fundraising activities as well as securing increased legacy income for the charity which we will use to fund future research programmes into deafness, tinnitus, and other deafness-related conditions.

"There are nine million people in the UK who are deaf or hard of hearing. They range from babies who are born with no hearing at all to over six million people over the age of sixty who are gradually losing their hearing as they age. Millions more have hearing problems such as tinnitus and complex conditions such as deaf-blindness.

"As the only national charity dedicated to research in this field, Deafness Research UK has a key role to play and our track record of identifying and backing the best, high impact research is impressive. We have played an important part in some of the most significant advances of recent years from new screening tests to identify deaf babies at birth to improving implants that restore sound to totally deaf people. With research entering a new and exciting phase in which medical cures are becoming a real possibility, we must expand our grant-making significantly to meet the need for new people and programmes in UK hearing research."

Notes to editors
About Deafness Research UK
• Deafness Research UK is the country’s only charity dedicated to finding new cures, treatments and technologies for deaf, hard of hearing and other hearing impaired people.
• The charity supports high quality medical research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of all forms of hearing impairment including tinnitus.
• The Deafness Research UK Information Service provides free information and advice based on the latest scientific evidence and informed by leading experts. The Information Service can be contacted on Freephone 0808 808 2222
• For more information on research into deafness, tinnitus and other hearing conditions, log on to the website at where you can access a wide range of information. Alternatively you can e-mail Deafness Research UK at
• One in seven people in the UK – almost nine million people - suffer hearing loss.
• Deafness Research UK was founded in 1985 by Lord (Jack) and Lady Ashley of Stoke.
• In January 2008, Action for Tinnitus Research (ATR) was linked with Deafness Research UK under a uniting direction order under Section 96 (6) of the Charities Act 1993.
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Ref: DRUK0084 – Ruwan Perera appointment
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