News - 09 June 2016

D2N2 backed charity appoints new Chair

A hearing charity which received substantial grant funding for a new facility from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership has appointed a new Chair.

The Ear Foundation opened its £700,000 ‘The Sherman Centre’ at its headquarters in Lenton, Nottingham, in April 2015, to  extend its facilities to help deaf children and adults with the latest hearing technologies. The purpose built facility was part-funded with a £120,000 Unlocking Investment for Growth (or UI4G) grant from D2N2, with a view to expanding its services and staff numbers.

Now the Ear Foundation has appointed a new chair, Val Steward. Val has known The Ear Foundation for 23 years, as it has helped her daughter with her cochlear implant, and Val became a trustee of the charity in April 2010. She is a chartered accountant by profession.

Val will be taking over from the current chair, John Atkins (the two are pictured outside The Sherman Centre facility), who has come to the end of his second term and is standing down after ten years of support. John joined The Ear Foundation’s Trustee Board in May 2006 and became Chair two years later, when Dr Sue Archbold became Chief Executive Officer.

Commenting on the new Chair’s appointment Sue said: “We welcome Val with open arms to take on the challenge of Chair, and to continue the great work John and his fellow trustees continue to do.” 

The news follows The Ear Foundation’s announcement last month (May) that Sue herself would be retiring as CEO in October 2016. New CEO Melanie Gregory – a qualified speech language therapist and audiologist, with 20 years’ experience working with adults and children with hearing loss – will take up her post in August (2016), working with Sue for her first few months.

For more information about The Ear Foundation and its work see its website at

Further information about D2N2’s Unlocking Investment for Growth programme – which is now closed – and how it has enabled companies and organisations to expand and create sustainable jobs can be found at D2N2 website at

Media wanting further information about the work of the D2N2 LEP can contact D2N2 Communications Manager Sean Kirby on 0115 9578749 or email:

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