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Chair of hospice to step down after 16 years of dedicated service

10th October 2020

The long-standing Chairman of Worcestershire’s St Richard’s Hospice has announced he will step down in April next year.

John Bawden has given 16 years of dedicated volunteer service to the hospice. He took on the Chairmanship in 2007 after previously spending three years as a hospice governor and Vice Chairman of the successful St Richard’s New Hospice Appeal.

Mr Bawden made the announcement at the St Richard’s Annual General Meeting on 8th October, 2020.

He said, “Now is the time to pass the baton on to the next Chair.  I feel very privileged to have been the Chairman and worked with a wonderful team, achieving a huge amount to support the people of Worcestershire.”

Mr Bawden added, “I believe we are the custodians of this marvellous organisation and I know that with the support of the hospice team and the wider community, St Richard’s will be in safe hands in the years ahead.”

A photo of Jenny Cowpe smilingHe will be succeeded by Jenny Cowpe, current Vice Chair of the Board and a member of the governing team for 20 years.

Mrs Cowpe, who lives in Malvern, has a depth of experience and understanding of both healthcare and academia, based on her career spanning both the NHS and university sectors.

Mrs Cowpe came to Worcestershire in 1996 to be Chief Executive of the then newly-merged Worcestershire Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

In her various senior leadership roles, she has been responsible for financial turn-arounds and for major service re-design in acute, community and mental health services, including leading Worcestershire’s county-wide initiative in the late1990s to shift the balance of provision from acute to community care, working with many health service, local government and other community partners.

Following 25 years of leading healthcare organisations, Mrs Cowpe then joined the faculty at Keele University, where her work on the design and delivery of its clinical leadership programmes led to the creation of the Keele Clinical Leadership Academy, which she directed until her formal retirement in 2018. She now works with the Academy on a consultancy basis.

Hospice Chief Executive, June Patel, said, “John has made a tremendous contribution to St Richard’s over many years. His inspirational leadership, dedication and vision have been a huge part of making St Richard’s the much-valued charity at the heart of our Worcestershire community that we are today. He has made the announcement sixth months before he steps down to ensure a smooth handover of this key role.”

Mrs Patel added, “We are now looking forward to moving into a new era of hospice care when Jenny takes the Chair next year. Jenny has a wealth of knowledge and understanding of our work and will lead the wider hospice team to continue to offer the best possible care and support to patients and families when they need us most.”

St Richard’s Hospice cares for adults with a serious progressive illness, improving their quality of life from diagnosis, during treatment and to their last days. It also supports their loved ones.

Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,300 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations and gifts in Wills for the majority of its income with 22% funded by the NHS.

Watch a recording of the virtual AGM 2020