Sharon Allen, Chief Executive

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Sharon Allen OBE CEO of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

Most people will see me standing at my desk in the first office upstairs in the Hospice between Monday and Friday. Since joining the Hospice in April 2019, I’ve been very keen to meet everyone, find out how everything works so you may well see me all over the Hospice, or going out on visits with colleagues, joining in with different events so I can be found here some evenings and at a weekend too.

As you might expect in my role, I also have lots of meetings and have been working hard to build up my network of key contacts in all the organisations we need to have strong relationships with so may also be out and about at various meetings. My role is to ensure that we do everything we say we will in delivering our Operational Plan and fulfilling contractual requirements, that we are sustainable for the long term, that we meet all our regulatory requirements, are seen as positive, proactive partner for other organisations and as a forward-thinking organisation that colleagues are proud to work for and enjoy doing so.

There is no such thing as a typical day, every day really is different so to give you a flavour of this week: I’ve had lots of meetings including with; Transformation Team with the Clinical Commissioning Group, SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and Hannah on the budget for next year, weekly SLT meeting, donor supporters, Arthur’s Shed, preparing for next Quality Development Group, 1:1 with chair of Trustees, another Hospice CEO, about Hospice User Group, Community Team meeting, research, Caring Communities, plus appraisals and one to ones, welcomed a visitor to the Hospice and had two coaching sessions, plus answering emails and ad-hoc queries phew!

I love everything about being part of #TeamArthur. From day one, the welcome from everyone has been so warm and every time I witness or hear feedback about the wonderful care and support, physically, psychologically, spiritually and emotionally – we provide both at Shelford Bottom and Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre, I feel so proud.

Equally, I am so impressed with all the work that happens through our central support teams to maintain provision of our care which may not always be so visible externally, we all know we would be lost without them and their work. The same is true of our fantastic volunteers who support us in every part of our activity and again without whom we would not be able to do what we do (and what a treat it is to have cuddles with all our gorgeous PAT dogs!) it’s a real privilege to lead such a diverse team of people all equally focused on and committed to ensuring that we provide the very best care and support.

We are also fortunate to have a skilled, knowledgeable and committed group of Trustees who support our work and provide guidance and constructive challenge to me and the senior team. And it is also wonderful to have such warmth and support from our community, whenever I meet someone new and tell them what my job is, I hear a wonderful story about what Arthur Rank Hospice Charity means to them and their family.

What matters most to me is that everyone throughout Cambridgeshire who needs care and support because they’ve had a diagnosis of a life limiting condition or who is nearing the end of their life gets the very best, person-centred, care and support from us. Every decision I take or suggestion I make, stems from this perspective. We are working on some exciting plans with the Clinical Commissioning Group and partners across social care and health to develop our provision which is great.

A few years ago, I completed a coaching Diploma and since then have offered coaching sessions which I am continuing to do here at Arthur Rank Hospice. This enables me to make a small contribution to the funds we need to raise as well as keeping my practice current. I love coaching, working with people and supporting them to find their solutions to issues and I always learn from the sessions too as I reflect on my own practice. If anyone would like to discuss coaching, I’d be very pleased to hear from you.