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Specialist dementia care provider, Belong, has appointed Martin Rix as its new Chief Executive, to lead the next phase of the care village operator's expansion as it prepares to open three new villages over the next three years.

Rix joins from Norfolk-based Norse Care, where he was Chief Operating Officer, with responsibility for services in 36 care homes and housing with care schemes. He brings experience of overseeing specialist dementia and nursing settings and managing operations supporting around 1,600 residents and tenants and a similar number of employees.

He also brings extensive experience of development projects and property consultancy, as a Chartered Surveyor and Civil Engineering graduate.

Chair of the Board, Nicola Brooks, said: "We are delighted to welcome Martin to Belong's executive team. His appointment as Chief Executive followed a rigorous recruitment process and we have every confidence that, in Martin, we have found someone with the leadership skills and integrity to take the organisation forward into a new era of growth as we emerge from the pandemic."

His appointment follows the retirement of former Chief Executive, Tracey Stakes, in January 2022. Since then, Belong's Chief Operating Officer, Stacey McCann, and Chief Finance Officer, Chris Hughes, have jointly covered the post as an interim arrangement.

Speaking about his new brief, Rix said: "Belong villages are a leading light within the sector, making a significant contribution to driving standards and creating opportunities, particularly for people with dementia.

"With a number of new villages close to completion, it's a very exciting time to be joining the organisation, and I'm looking forward to working alongside an incredibly dedicated and talented team of people as we continue to innovate into the future."

This summer will see Belong open its first intergenerational care village in Chester, featuring an on-site children's nursery fully integrated into the village model. The organisation's first coastal village will open next year in Birkdale, followed by Belong Wirral Waters in 2024, set to become the heart of a dementia-friendly neighbourhood as part of a wider quayside regeneration project.

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