Pace update – Spring 2023

Sharing news, updates, progress and impact

A new leader for Pace

A new leader for Pace

After four and a half years as our Chief Executive, Ian Sansbury has moved on to a new set of challenges at mental health charity Mind Over Mountains. Over his time at Pace, Ian has taken the charity forward purposefully, while maintaining a clear focus on what has always made our specialist work so distinctive and impactful. Ian’s leadership has taken us further towards Pace’s vision, that every child with a neurodisability, and their family, can access the sort of specialist provision that Pace delivers.

We are grateful to Ian for his strategic and commercial skillset, as Pace has increasingly been able to harness the potential of early intervention, assistive technology and the opportunity to reach many more children and families through the power of digital. Through Ian’s financial and fundraising skills, and his deep passion for our work, Pace is financially secure, with a strong platform for the future.

Ian left Pace on February 9th, 2023.

Introducing Rich Wiltshire

Introducing Rich Wiltshire

The Pace Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of our new Chief Executive, Richard Wiltshire, who will join us in May 2023. Richard brings a wealth of charity leadership experience, most recently as Chief Executive of the University of Cambridge Students’ Union, and previously at Citizens Advice Aylesbury Vale.

Richard was appointed following a highly competitive recruitment process. The Board are confident that Richard will bring the strategic and commercial skills that will enable Pace to continue its strong trajectory of growth and innovation.

Please join us in welcoming Richard to Pace.

The Board is also pleased to confirm that until Richard arrives in post, Caroline Bennett will act as Interim Chief Executive from February 13th, 2023.

Impact paragraph portraits

The following ‘Paragraph Portraits’ take a closer look at the challenges faced by three of our school children and how the combined efforts of the Pace team have helped them overcome or manage those challenges. The stories are truly inspiring! Click on each picture to read more.

Pace – a trauma informed organisation

Our commitment to building our specialism and expertise within Pace will see the entire Staff team completing training this year on becoming a trauma informed organisation. Whilst we already have a baseline knowledge and expertise in this field, particularly through our occupational therapy team, the additional knowledge, awareness and skills that are gained from this training will be filtered throughout our policies and practice going forward to help to further improve our practice and the way we serve our Pace community. 

Trauma is often described as an emotional shock with a lasting effect. It can be experienced by the children we support, but also by their parents and the wider family due to the emotional impact of parenting a disabled child. Trauma-informed practice aims to increase practitioners’ awareness of how trauma can negatively impact on individuals and communities, and their ability to feel safe or develop trusting relationships with health and care services and their staff. It aims to improve the accessibility and quality of services by creating culturally sensitive, safe services that people trust and want to use. It seeks to prepare practitioners to work in collaboration and partnership with people and empower them to make choices about their health and wellbeing. 

Pace Advice and Support Hub

Pace Advice and Support Hub

We launched the new Pace website ( in June 2022, alongside our new brand. The new site incorporates our Advice and Support hub, which now contains 33 individual pieces of digital advice and support content.

We have also made significant progress in building our new training platform, using LearnDash – the industry leading plug-in for online training. This will enable us to fully integrate online learning into our staff training and development programme and our service provision, allowing us to reach more children and their families nationally, even internationally. It will also help us disseminate our practice through offering training to external practitioners and professionals.

Pace school impact

Pace school impact

We repeated the Pace school family survey in the summer of 2022 and now have three years’ worth of comparable data to publish.

The school continues to be rated “excellent” by 100% of respondents. See the full results here:

Pace Child & Family Therapy Services – early intervention impact

Pace Child & Family Therapy Services – early intervention impact

We repeated the Pace family therapy survey in the summer of 2022 and now have three years’ worth of comparable data to publish.

Parents continue to rate our early intervention service highly, with 82% rating it as “excellent” and 18% as “good”. See the full results here:

Visitor Mornings – come and see our work in practice

Visitor Mornings – come and see our work in practice

Our visitor mornings are unique and very powerful. You will have the opportunity to meet the children that benefit from your support, and the dedicated staff, as well as explore our fantastic facilities. We can promise you an interesting and inspiring visit.

There really is no better way to learn more about our work than to see it first-hand.
Book your visit

Leadership and governance

New Finance and Operations Director

In December last year we welcomed Jas Nijar to the Pace team as our new Finance & Operations Director. Jas is a very experienced Finance professional, having held senior finance roles at Pearson (the publisher of the Financial Times), a Westminster-based group of GP surgeries and most recently with Target Ovarian Cancer. 

Jas took over the role from Ann Tomkins, who retired at the end of December last year after seven and half years of dedicated service. Ann and Jas worked together during December to ensure a smooth transition. 

New Deputy Head

Richard Smith joined Pace in January 2023. Richard has been involved within SEN education for over fifteen years. He has over 10 years of senior management experience and was Assistant Headteacher in his previous school. 

Richard Smith is the Deputy Headteacher at Pace School

Trustee Update 

Our chair, Julian Lovelock, and Treasurer, Clive John, retired at the end of the summer term last year after a combined 30 years of service to Pace. Our trustee Dennis Craggs recently stepped down, after 12 years, to make way for new trustees. We are enormously indebted to their immense contribution to Pace over that time. The succession to our new chair, Helen Shepherd, has proceeded very well. We have also appointed a new and highly experienced finance trustee, Colin Hayfield, to perform the role of Treasurer.

Further details of all our trustees can be found here


In 2022 we decided to change our financial year-end to August, to match the school year, making our budgeting and reporting processes significantly simpler. Our Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st August 2022 therefore cover an 8-month period. These financial statements reflect a surplus of £3,509, including an unrestricted surplus of £194,135, improving our unrestricted reserve to 4 months. We intend to continue to build our unrestricted reserve towards our target of 4-12 months’ operating costs.

Our Financial Statements for the Year Ended 31st August 2022 can be found here