Richard Strawson is a parent trustee for Together for Short Lives, having joined the board in December 2013. Richard has spent his career largely in local government and, specifically, Trading Standards, leading the service in Kent until 2015 when he became an independent consultant, before returning to lead East Sussex Trading Standards in 2017.
Richard’s involvement in children’s palliative care came after his third child, Daniel, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive brain tumour at the age of just eight months. His illness and subsequent death in December 2007 brought Richard and his wife Susannah and family into contact with many care providers, both within the NHS and the charitable sector.
Following Daniel’s death, Richard and Susannah continued to receive support and went onto to have two more children but both felt they wanted to become more involved with other families and organisations in the palliative care sector. Richard subsequently visited several children’s hospices and took part in one of the ‘Square Table’ events aimed at bringing families and specialists together to identify care needs and how they could best be met.
Richard has been a keen supporter of the work of Together for Short Lives and when the opportunity came up to become a parent trustee, he saw this as an area where he could use some of his skills to benefit others and represent the views of families.