New hospice CEO praises community support over pandemic

New St Elizabeth Hospice CEO, Judi Newman

New St Elizabeth Hospice CEO, Judi Newman - Credit: Mike Kwasniak

St Elizabeth Hospice's new CEO has praised the compassion of her staff after taking on the role.

The Ipswich-based hospice, which provides services across east Suffolk and Waveney, has named former development director Judi Newman as its new chief executive.

Ms Newman has more than 25 years' experience working in the charity and public sectors, including for Oxfam and the Suffolk Community Foundation, and takes on the role from former CEO Ru Watkins.

Ms Newman said it is an "honour" to be given the opportunity to lead the "incredible" organisation as it looks to develop and expand its services.

She said: “Everyone who works here becomes engulfed by the love and compassion of the hospice as it is such a warm and friendly environment to be a part of.

“I have such admiration for the care our staff provide and for the close relationship the hospice has with the community. It really is a cornerstone of our community, with over 1,500 volunteers choosing to give their time and energy to support the teams in any way they can.

“I, myself have known friends who have received its care and I have seen the importance of the dedication and personalised care that the hospice staff provide and what it means to the whole family, including the bereavement support that is available."

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Ms Newman added she has been "moved" by the way volunteers and the public have stood up to support the charity throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with the community raising £250,000 for the hospice in just six months through the #HereTogether campaign.

Collaboration with the community is something she is keen to continue developing, as well as through expanding its services to support more patients and their families and adding to its Zest service for young adults.

She added: “The hospice’s roots lie in the community and that is very important. It provides more than health care, it supports the whole family whose loved one is under its care. There is hardly a family in east Suffolk who doesn’t have a relative, loved one or friend who has received support from St Elizabeth Hospice, or knows others who have.

“I am looking forward to seeing what the future will hold, as the whole hospice team wants to be here today, tomorrow and in years to come in order to support as many people as possible in the communities we are so proud to work in.”