After a decade as a Trustee and seven years at the helm as Chairman at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, Stuart Elford will be stepping down in May and passing on the baton to Christina Quinn.

It will be the end of an era for Stuart, who is Director of Operations and Development at GA Solicitors as well as a Director of the Devon Chamber of Commerce.

“I feel I have got a lot from St Luke’s over the years”, Stuart says, “I have learnt from it and taken joy from it. I am so proud of the organisation and the people in it. It has never been a chore for me; it has been a real joy to be involved.”

During his tenure with St Luke’s Stuart has faced a number of challenges, but even more so, a number of highlights and has played a crucial part in making St Luke’s what it is today.

“A key highlight of mine would be the instigation of Hospice without Walls and the Crisis Team. I was really proud to see this concept brought to life and to see it become the success it is now. Another would be when St Luke’s received The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. I remember feeling that it was such an honour to represent all the volunteers who put so much time and energy into St Luke’s. This showed true recognition of what the hospice has done and what we have achieved.”

Stuart will be passing on the role of Chair to Christina Quinn, who will be officially taking over on 23 May.

“I feel I am leaving St Luke’s in good shape and will be leaving it in the capable hands of Christina, who will take on the baton from me. Her deep understanding of the healthcare and NHS landscape will bring vast benefits to the organisation and I really wish her well in the role. I thank you all for your support these last 10 years and I look forward to seeing what the future will bring for St Luke’s. It has been a pleasure, privilege and honour to be a part of the journey with you.”

Christina has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the health and social care sector. Originally from London, she trained as a nurse at St Bartholomews Hospital, before moving to the South West where she has since worked for the Plymouth NHS Trust and is currently Director of the South West NHS Leadership Academy.

Throughout her career, Christina’s key interests have been leadership and the impact of leadership in outcomes for patient care. In her current role she is responsible for shaping leadership development interventions at a national and regional level.
Having grown up in London, one of the main attractions for moving to this part of the country was Christina’s childhood longing to live by the sea. With hobbies including open water swimming and diving, she has truly embraced the lifestyle down here.
Becoming Chair is a role that Christina is proud to be taking on.

“St Luke’s has always been an organisation that has been held very dearly by the city”, she says. “Having experienced St Luke’s through my position within the local healthcare profession, it is clear that it is an example of a really fantastic organisation, not only in how the staff themselves feel about it, but through its work within the community as a whole.

“I hope to continue the good work of Stuart and moving forward I hope that I will be able to offer my expertise and experience surrounding the health and social care sector. St Luke’s is prised and cherished by the community of Plymouth and the surrounding area. I want to continue to be an advocate and champion of St Luke’s, building and strengthening our identity both regionally and nationally.”

Christina will officially be taking over as Chair of the Board of Trustees on Tuesday 23 May. We wish her all the best in her new role.