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New CEO for Rainbows

David Strudley

We are delighted to announce we have appointed a new Chief Executive - for the next 18 months, David Strudley will head up the our charity.

With a wealth of experience having worked in children’s services for over 20 years, including 10 years as the CEO at Acorns Children’s Hospice, David will lead Rainbows forward with its new three-year strategy.

David (69), from Worcestershire, retired from Acorns in 2016 but since March, has been working part-time at the hospice as interim CEO alongside Mandy Ashton OBE.

He said: “Rainbows is the most wonderful charity, so much so that I was convinced to come out of retirement to take on this position. During my time at Rainbows, I will have the strategy firmly in place ready for a permanent CEO to take the reins in 2018. The job of finding our next CEO is a big one and we must ensure we find the right person for this crucial appointment. I will also be helping to recruit new Trustees to Rainbows.”

Later this summer, we will launch a new strategy which will transform the ability to provide a choice of care to life-limited children and young people across the East Midlands and support for their families. Our hospice building will remain at the centre of everything we do, but staff will be able to take more of our care out to communities in parts of the region that find it difficult to access the facilities at the hospice.

David, who is Chairman at Together for Short Lives UK Transition Taskforce and is researching a book on children's hospices, added: “The next three years are really important for Rainbows. The most challenging element is the sheer geography of the East Midlands. There are so many families out there in the more remote parts of the region that find it so hard to access our services and we want to eradicate that.

“I began my journey in children’s hospices in 2003 as CEO at Naomi House in Hampshire. When I first stepped through the doors, I didn’t know what a children’s hospice was or what to expect. But immediately, I thought this is where I want to spend the rest of my working life. I felt the same at Acorns and now at Rainbows.

“At Rainbows, there is a wonderful sense of care that isn’t being provided by any other means, it is a truly magical place. So if I can do what I do for another of couple of years, it will be brilliant end to a very rewarding career. Then I will finally retire!”

Mandy Ashton, who has over 37 years of clinical experience working in health care, will continue to support us working alongside our Director of Care, Amanda, on the hospice’s care agenda.