Profile: Nick Baxter

Careers in social care

Nick Baxter is the founder and chief executive of Cornerstone Community Care.

How long in the job? Seven years as chief executive and 26 years with the organisation.

Career highlight: Seeing a service user waiting for a bus. This gentleman had lived in hospital for many years and had virtually no independence. And there he was standing at the bus stop, waiting for a bus, just like anyone else.
Best training ever done: My MBA in 1992. Cornerstone had grown to a significant size and I became aware that the quality of its services are dependent on the quality of its managers. 

I didn’t get where I am today by: Being afraid to take risks. When I founded Cornerstone in 1982 the concept of community care didn’t exist and many people (including parents) were unconvinced about the benefits of supporting people with special needs in the community. 

Single most inspiring person I’ve met: A very disabled client of Cornerstone who, despite being in constant pain, showed no self pity.

I aspire to be: The chief executive that leads Cornerstone to become the leading organisation in Scotland for people with a learning difficulty.

Me and my career: As the charity has evolved the demands on me have changed. Initially, I had to be a jack of all trades as we persuaded others that people with a learning difficulty should be allowed to live a valued life in the community. Latterly, an expertise in management and public speaking is a necessity.

Early in my career as a social worker I always wanted to be proud of my profession but repeated scandals and poor practice denied that to me in a local authority setting.  The creation of Cornerstone gives me the satisfaction that many people are being helped by my organisation and my staff and I are proud to be associated with it. 

1999-now  Chief executive, Cornerstone Community Care
1994-9 General manager, Cornerstone Community Care
1991-4 Co-ordinator , Cornerstone Community Care 
1988-91 Development officer , Cornerstone Community Care
1980-8 Founder and chairman, Cornerstone Community Care
1972-1988 Manager, Grampian Council
1971-2 Social worker, Birmingham Council

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