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New Trustees for Together for Short Lives

News and comment
Emma Aspinall, Mark Smith and Rob LIghtfoot

We want to give a warm welcome to our three newly appointed Trustees, who are joining our Board of Trustees to further strengthen our charity governance.

Our three new Trustees – Rob Lightfoot, Mark Smith and Emma Aspinall – will bring a range of complementary knowledge and and skill to our board, as well as vast experience in the wider children’s palliative care sector.

Emma Aspinall

Emma Aspinall is a qualified children’s social worker and until recently Director of Care at Acorns Childrens Hospice. She has extensive experience in psychosocial support in children’s palliative care, of quality improvement and of charity leadership. She recently stepped down as a member of the Together for Short Lives Advisory Council and has been involved in supporting the charity’s work for many years.

“I have really valued working with Together for Short Lives and before that ACT and Children’s Hospice UK (CHUK) over my 20 years in the palliative care sector, we have seen many changes and developments nationally and regionally,” Emma told us. “I have always found the guidance and the support to its members invaluable recognising localised need whilst also providing national and strategic oversight which has enabled a better understanding by the wider public and government on the specialist services we provided by paediatric palliative services. I see being a Trustee for Together for Short Lives as giving back, and still contributing to the children and families who I and my colleagues have supported over the last two decades.”

Mark Smith

Mark Smith meanwhile is Chief Executive of Naomi House and Jacksplace hospices for children and young adults in Winchester, where he was previously Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Fundraising. He has a strong track record in hospice and fundraising leadership and has governance experience, most recently as a trustee of Winston’s Wish, and like Emma has been involved in our work for many years since our inception in 2011 – at the time Mark was a trustee of Children’s Hospice UK (CHUK), and helped oversee the merger with ACT which created Together for Short Lives. He is also currently a member of our Advisory Council.

“I am delighted to be appointed as Trustee of Together for Short lives and look forward to working with my fellow trustees and the Together for Short Lives team to continue to develop the organisation of behalf of all our members for the benefit of the families we serve.” says Mark. “Having been involved through the merger of CHUK and ACT and seeing the progress Together for Short Lives has made since, I am pleased to have the opportunity to contribute further to the success of the charity and the future of the children’s palliative sector.”

Rob Lightfoot

Rob is currently Chief Executive of Lifelites, which provides adaptive digital technology to support children who need palliative care. He has developed a new vision and strategy for the organisation to reach more families with assistive technology. He was previously Chief Executive of Age UK, Merton and is a volunteer for the Samaritans.

“In my current role I have gained unique insight into the children’s palliative care sector and feel passionate about Together for Short Lives’ purpose to ensure every child, and their family, has high quality children’s palliative and end of life care, when and where they need it,” Rob says. “As a parent of two small children, I am currently living the stresses and strains, joys and optimism that parenthood brings. I hope that my skills and experiences can help Together for Short Lives bring about the kind of system that makes accessing the right support as simple as possible so that families can spend more time on enabling children to have the kind of childhood they deserve.”

Exciting period of change

Welcoming the new appointments, our Chair of Trustees Dr Lisa Kauffmann says “I am delighted to welcome Emma, Mark and Rob to the Board. Together they bring extensive experience of charity governance, strategic development and children’s palliative and I know they will make a significant difference to our work. Together for Short Lives is in an exciting period of growth and change, with a new and ambitious strategy to ensure children and families are able to access high quality, sustainable care and support. These appointments are an important part of this strategy, and we look forward to working with new trustees”.

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