Disability equality charity Scope has named Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group’s Robin Millar as the chair designate of its trustee board.
His appointment comes as the charity delivers an open letter to the Prime Minister, backed by 30,000 signatories, calling for the government to stop forgetting about disabled people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Millar, a British music producer, businessman and mentor, has the progressive condition Retinitis Pigmentosa and was registered blind at 16 years old with no sight since 1985. As a producer, he has gained 150 gold and platinum discs including 44 No.1 hits.
He produced many classic albums during his career including Diamond Life by Sade.
Millar is currently chairman of Blue Raincoat Chrysalis Group, whose roster includes Sinead O’Connor, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Ultravox, The Specials and Everything But The Girl.
Robin Millar said: “I am incredibly excited to be joining Scope as chair designate, especially at this monumental time for disability equality. There are 14 million disabled people in the UK and they have been forgotten and sidelined by the Government throughout the pandemic and now face bearing the brunt of an economic crisis. We cannot let the clock go back on disability equality.
“Today, in my first action as Scope’s chair designate, I proudly lead the delivery of a letter to the Prime Minister, signed by 30,000 people, demanding he prioritise disabled people.”
He added: “The pandemic has magnified the inequalities that disabled people face in our society. We need to work together to remove these barriers for good. Business, schools and communities all have a role in making sure disabled people have fairness and equality. If the pandemic has shown us anything positive, it’s that flexibility is possible in the workplace. Let’s build on this to create more job opportunities for disabled people in the future. Together, we won’t let disabled people be forgotten.”
The pandemic has magnified the inequalities that disabled people face in our society
Scope’s chief executive Mark Hodgkinson said: “I am delighted to announce Robin as our new chair designate and would like to warmly welcome him to Scope. His wide-ranging skills, wealth of experience and personal insight into living with a disability will all be of huge benefit to Scope in helping us deliver our ambitious strategy and guiding us through these challenging times.
“Disabled people have been some of the hardest hit by Coronavirus and with an uncertain economic future for the UK ahead we know that life may get even tougher. The need for Scope in campaigning for change and providing vital support services for disabled people and their families has never been greater. Robin’s leadership, passion and commitment to improving society will be invaluable.
“I would like to thank trustees Claire Flint and Andrew Hooke who have been interim co-chairs since Andrew McDonald stepped down from the chair role last October. They have done a fantastic job and Robin will look to build on the strong foundations they have put in place.”
Millar takes up the role following a rigorous selection process that involved interviews with trustees, disabled colleagues and a disabled assembly member
Millar announced he was stepping away from full time music production in 2010 to concentrate on his public and charitable roles.
He is one of the eight founding directors of The Institute for Apprenticeships, as well as being an honourable professor of commercial music at the London College of Music and has held patron roles with charities UNICEF, CALM and Leonard Cheshire Disability. He has helped raise millions for various charity appeals and events and was made a CBE in 2010.
Scope’s former chair Andrew McDonaldstepped down last October due to ill health. Since then, trustees Claire Flint and Andrew Hooke have been acting as interim co-chairs.
* To make sure you can access Music Week wherever you are, subscribe to our digital issue by clicking here.