With my retirement as St Luke’s Chief Executive coming up on 4 May, I want to take this opportunity to say what an immense privilege it has been to serve at the helm of our hospice for the past six years.
It would be far too difficult to home in on just one or two memories that I will take with me from my time as CEO, and my years as Deputy and HR Director before that, so instead I’ll share the overriding feeling I am left with as I approach retirement.
It really has been way more than a job – it has been the most incredible journey, working alongside our amazing staff and volunteers, and I speak from my heart when I say I am very proud of what we have achieved together, always putting the best interests of our patients and their families at the centre of what we do.
I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with at St Luke’s. The dedication all our staff and volunteers show to our community day in, day out is second to none, and I say this recognising that maintaining such a high calibre of service is often very challenging in the face of growing demands on our hospice team. I am so grateful to have ended my career at a place where everyone cares so much and is working towards the same, shared goal.
The decision to step away has not been an easy one, but I am retiring at the time that feels right for me, professionally and personally, and with the assurance of knowing that St Luke’s incoming CEO, Christina Quinn, is absolutely the best pair of hands to receive the reins from me.
She will be supported by the same great group of senior management colleagues I have been fortunate enough to work alongside.
For those of you who don’t already know, until last November Christina was Chair of our charity’s Board of Trustees. She comes with not only her trademark dynamism and many years’ experience at senior level within the NHS, but also the knowledge, wisdom and insight gained from six years of leading our governing body, during which time we have weathered the pandemic and gone through transformation.
I want to thank current Chair of Trustees Charles Hackett (and former Chair Christina), and every other member of our board for their support over the years. Being a trustee is a massive responsibility and they work tirelessly to steer our charity safely towards our vision. We could not do what we do without them.
As I prepare for my retirement (I’m still getting used to that word!) and then ‘decompressing’ from the huge responsibility of running a hospice, I want to let you know that I am not thinking of this as ‘goodbye’. While I won’t be interfering in the running of St Luke’s, I’ll be following St Luke’s with interest and great affection – and you’re bound to see me pop up, getting muddy at Tour de Moor and no doubt volunteering at Midnight Walk.
In signing off this last message as St Luke’s CEO, I want to say thank you again to everyone for their support in making sure St Luke’s continues to be the safe haven our community needs for anyone diagnosed with, or affected by, life-limiting illness.