After a full career in the infantry, including four operational tours in the Middle East and three in Northern Ireland, Rory was selected as INSPIRE’s Director (formerly Executive Director) in September 2012. He is responsible for the day to day running of the charity, as well as all fundraising. He is Secretary both to the Board of Trustees and the National Scientific Committee and co-ordinates INSPIRE’s National Research Programme.
From the outset he identified that INSPIRE’s unique selling point was the diversity and quality of its world class scientists. By projecting their ideas to grant making trusts as ‘entirely possible but for the funds’, he identified that grants were available, despite a climate of austerity. He also recognised the need to break out of the ‘Salisbury/Southampton enclave’ and develop a wider footprint by actively encouraging the involvement of new scientists, particularly in Scotland and the North of England. This strategy was recognised by both the Association of Medical Research Charities, which in December 2015 reinstated the charity’s ‘licence to operate’ and the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator, which awarded membership status in November 2018. In turn this led to the establishment of INSPIRE’s ‘London base’ at the prestigious Royal Society of Medicine.
Rory further recognised that INSPIRE’s footprint was more than just science! He coerced ten new Patrons, seven new Trustees and countless members and volunteers, all with their part to play. He has overseen an imaginative array of scientific and awareness activities, both in Salisbury and London at the House of Lords, the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal College of Anaesthetists. The charity has also raised funds at six major racecourses in the south of England and held receptions in Glasgow and the Channel Islands. Under his direction, INSPIRE has grown beyond recognition and now addresses quality of life issues for the spinal cord injured with bigger, more imaginative and expensive projects, thereby multiplying the National Research Programme from £37,000 to over £1.6 million.
Rory has a home in Salisbury which he occasionally (but not too often) shares with his two grown up sons, Bill and James. His main interests are cooking, DIY, skiing and sailing. He recently rebuilt a small yacht which he keeps near Lymington and is an offshore member of the RNLI. He is a Trustee of the Royal Hampshire Regiment and a member of the Multidisciplinary Association of SCI Professionals.