020 7691 1925 Directory
General Enquiries
020 7691 1925
Executive Search UK
020 7691 1920
Senior Appointments
020 7400 6373
Global & Board Appointments
020 3479 5405
Office and Professional
020 7405 4999
020 7691 1922
Talent Attraction
020 7400 6375
020 7400 6374
skip to main content

Chief Executive

The Organisation

Nordoff Robbins is the UK's leading provider of music therapy services dedicated to transforming the lives of vulnerable children and adults across the UK. Nordoff Robbins’ trained network of music therapists work with people of all ages and with a range of conditions. They deliver thousands of music therapy sessions per year in care homes, day centres, hospitals, schools and their own centres. Nordoff Robbins also train music therapists and conduct research to improve their work and help train the practitioners of the future.

The Brief

Prospectus was asked to lead the search for Nordoff Robbins’ next Chief Executive, who would to build on the charity’s success and reputation by developing the strategic objectives and a business plan for the next three years. Candidates would have experience of developing the strategic vision and resulting plans that ensured growth as well as experience of bringing focus to large teams to allow them to operate effectively together. The new Chief Executive would also have a strong track record of acting as an ambassador, connecting supporters and donors from all walks of life.

Our search targeted the music, arts and disability sectors, both in the charitable and private sectors, to identify existing and emerging leaders. Prospectus also conducted research in to the mental health and youth charitable sectors as well as identifying successful charitably ambassadorscharitable ambassadors with track records in growing organisations.

The Appointment

Julie Whelan was appointed to the Chief Executive post and took up the post in January 2015. Following After leading a successful commercial enterprise, Julie’s passion for working with young people saw her initially teach before gaining county council experience delivering education initiatives. On secondment to the Department for Education Julie gained experience of public policy, later working with ministers, head teachers and a large pool of consultants to deliver over four hundred sports colleges against a target of six for Youth Sport Trust.  Julie was head hunted by Dame Kelly Holmes to be the first CEO for her own charity. Julie used her strategic skills to lead the implementation and growth of the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust, building relationships with ministers and funders, to become a highly successful, awardwinningaward-winning charity, achieving a turn over of £3.4million in under six years. Julie is a highly motivating leader, with a track record of developing a culture of ambition, ownership and success.