Our Chief Executive, Paul Howard, will be leaving LUPUS UK at the end of March 2024.
I have been a part of the charity since spring 2011, originally as a volunteer, before being offered a full-time staff role that started in October 2011. I then occupied several roles within the charity before becoming Chief Executive in March 2020.
I am extremely grateful for my opportunity to contribute to the work of LUPUS UK during the last twelve-and-a-half years and it is an honour to have the confidence of the trustees to lead as Chief Executive. I have been fortunate to work with many incredible people from our staff team, trustees and volunteers to the amazing clinicians and researchers supporting the community.
There are several developments during my time as Chief Executive of LUPUS UK that I am proud to have overseen:
- NICE recommendations for the first two medicines (belimumab and voclosporin) to be licensed specifically for the treatment of lupus. Decisions which involved significant contributions from people living with lupus.
- The support for our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with regularly updated information and guidance about shielding, vaccines and treatments.
- The Board of Trustees has continued to diversify, with a broader range of professional skills and personal experiences.
- The staff team has grown to include new roles, providing more direct support to our volunteers and members of the community.
- We have welcomed lots of volunteers, many of whom are leading new groups in regions throughout the UK, providing more opportunities for people with lupus to come together.
To aid the trustees in recruiting and transitioning to a new CEO, I have offered an extended notice period and will leave at the end of March 2024. LUPUS UK will soon announce how they will approach recruiting a capable and committed successor to lead the charity into its next phase of development.
I intend to take a break after leaving LUPUS UK and will consider my next steps. Until that time, there is a lot of work still to do. Over the next few months, we will be:
- Recruiting for a new role – Young People and Family Support Officer.
- Deciding grant recipients for our autumn 2023 research funding round.
- Publishing a new version of our booklet, “Lupus and the Skin”.
- Completing accreditation for the Patient Information Forum (PIF) TICK Scheme.
- Finalising the change of LUPUS UK’s legal form to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).
- Setting our budget and objectives for 2024.
I continue to work closely with staff and volunteer colleagues to complete these projects and support people with lupus in our community.
Elaine Holland, Chair of LUPUS UK, says:
“I, and the Board of Trustees, will be very sorry to see Paul leave LUPUS UK. It has been an honour and a privilege to work with Paul, in all his different roles with the charity, but especially during the last three-and-a-half years since he became CEO. He certainly went through a baptism of fire taking on the role just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown was announced. Paul’s steady hand and professionalism saw the charity not only survive but thrive during this time and he can be proud of the initiatives he spearheaded to provide our community with extra support. Paul’s hard work, dedication and commitment to the charity and all its beneficiaries has been outstanding.
There will be opportunities later to properly thank Paul for his work, and to wish him well for the future. The Board of Trustees have started the process of recruiting Paul’s successor and further announcements will be made in due course.”