David Forbes-nixon, Founder Of The Dfn Charitable Foundation And Co-founder Of Stepping Stones School At Undershaw, Is Honoured In Queen’s Birthday Honours List

David Forbes-Nixon, the co-founder of Stepping Stones School at Undershaw for children with special educational needs and founder of DFN Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH which helps those with special needs secure long-term employment, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s June Honours List.

David Forbes-Nixon is accepting this award on behalf of everyone involved in these amazing charities. He says, “I would like to thank everyone at Stepping Stones school and at the DFN Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH for their brilliant work with children and adults with special educational needs and disabilities”.

David Forbes-Nixon has fought for many years to ensure that children with learning difficulties can access good quality education and improve their employment prospects.

He was inspired by his disabled son, Charlie, to set up the DFN Charitable Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH to make a positive difference to the lives of young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

David bought Undershaw, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s old country house, in 2014 and converted it into the Stepping Stones School. In 2018, he obtained the Master Franchise Agreement for Project SEARCH for the UK which works with companies to provide long term jobs for young adults with learning disabilities and autism.

David’s vision is to transform the life outcomes of disabled people throughout the country and build a more inclusive and fairer society. Today, his work in this area has been recognised by the Prime Minister who has recommended that he is awarded an OBE by the Queen in the Birthday Honours List.

David says that this award is for everyone who has contributed to the success of these charities. “I am honoured to receive this award, but it is on behalf of everyone involved at Stepping Stones School, the DFN Charitable Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH. We have only been able to achieve so much because of their efforts and this award is for them as much as me”.

David Forbes-Nixon has recently stepped down as Chairman and CEO of Bank of New York Mellon’s Alcentra Group, one of London’s leading asset managers, where he currently spends 2 days a week as Senior Advisor with the rest of his time dedicated to the DFN Charitable Foundation and DFN Project SEARCH.

David adds, “It is hugely difficult for people with learning disabilities to get the education they need to prepare them to find long term, meaningful employment, with only 5.6% in full time jobs. I will continue to work with my colleagues at DFN Project SEARCH to do everything we can to significantly improve this outcome”.    

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