When LUPUS UK’s Board of Trustees met in November 2021, Kevin Weston announced that it would be his last meeting as Chair of the charity.
Kevin initially joined LUPUS UK and the North Wales Lupus Group in 2001, when his eldest daughter was diagnosed with lupus. He supported the local group over the years and in September 2014 was elected as Trustee of LUPUS UK. Following his retirement from Element Six (DeBeers) in 2015, after 40 years working in mining and metallurgy, he was elected as Chair of LUPUS UK.
During Kevin’s two terms as Chair, he has overseen significant developments for the charity including:
- a refresh of our Constitution.
- increase in the size and diversity of our Board of Trustees.
- restructuring of our research grants programme.
- five LUPUS UK Centre of Excellence awards.
- a transition of CEOs.
- expansion of LUPUS UK’s staff team.
- navigation through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kevin has left LUPUS UK in a strong and sustainable position for growth in the future. Kevin will remain on LUPUS UK’s Board of Trustees for the moment, with his current term due to end at the AGM in May 2022. He has been elected by the Board of Trustees to take on the Officer role of Treasurer during that time.
The new Chair of LUPUS UK elected to the position by the charity’s Board of Trustees, is Elaine Holland.
Elaine was diagnosed with lupus in 1998, aged 24. Whilst in the process of being diagnosed, she completed her teacher training in Information Technology and secured a full-time teaching post in Ashington, Northumberland. In May 2000, she had a major flare. In need of more information about lupus, Elaine joined LUPUS UK, became a member of the North East Lupus Group Committee and trained as a volunteer telephone Contact.
When Elaine moved to the North West, she joined their group committee in 2010 and was set with the task of establishing and administering a Facebook group and was involved with relaunching and maintaining their website. During her time with the North West Lupus Group, Elaine has been their Treasurer, continued as a volunteer telephone Contact and gone on to Chair the group. She has attended many events speaking with patients, medics and the public about lupus and LUPUS UK. She has also been interviewed for local and national television and featured in the World Lupus Federation/GSK ‘Lupus Knows No Boundaries’ e-report.
Elaine was elected to the Board of Trustees in 2016 and has served in the Officer role of Treasurer for three-and-a-half years.
Here is what Elaine said about her ambitions as Chair of LUPUS UK:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a trustee and feel I have made a positive contribution to the charity through all my involvement. LUPUS UK has also provided me, and my family and friends, with invaluable support over the years.
I am passionate about supporting people affected by lupus and raising awareness, but I am also aware that we need to move forward. I feel as a charity, we are at the start of a period of change with a new CEO, new Vice-Chair and soon to be new Chair. The pandemic has accelerated our need to embrace technological changes and adapt our ways of working and engaging with the lupus community. I have the utmost respect for all the hard work in the past and our traditions. These still have a place for some of the community, but we also need to move forward, and I feel that I am in a position to see both sides and find a way to progress. I am fully committed to our Mission and Values, especially being a lupus patient myself. As a team, including the National Office staff, I do not feel that there is anything we cannot address in time.”
We would like to thank Kevin for his service to the charity and congratulate Elaine on her appointment as the new Chair of LUPUS UK.