CancerCare North Lancashire and South Cumbria has announced Neil Townsend’s decision to retire as chief executive officer at the end of March.
Since 2015, Neil has led the charity through a period of transformational change which has seen more cancer patients and their families accessing services than ever before, together with the development of new and improved services and the establishment of a support service and dedicated centre in Barrow.
Mr Townsend said: “It has been with mixed feelings that I have made my decision to retire.
“At the time of joining CancerCare, I was immediately struck by the commitment and professionalism of all our staff and volunteers who have got behind our drive to modernise, energise ourselves and stay ‘ahead of the game’ in responding to the needs of people affected by cancer within our region.
“It has been a pleasure to work with so many dedicated individuals.
“Although there still is and always should be much to do, the charity is in excellent shape, with very clear and exciting plans for the next three years and beyond, so the time is right for me to move on.
“While I will miss being part of the charity’s future, I am looking forward to my own new challenges and opportunities.”
Andrew Birchall, chair of the Board of Trustees, said: “Neil came to CancerCare at a difficult period in its 35 year history and brought a skill set and leadership style that have well and truly put CancerCare back on track, with a raised profile both internally and externally and a renewed passion to continue delivering excellence.
“Our thanks go to Neil for his exemplary commitment over the last four years; he leaves CancerCare in great shape.
“Although we shall miss him, we wish Neil an exciting and fulfilling retirement.”
Andrew confirmed that the recruitment of Neil’s successor will start later this month and interviews are planned in February.
He added: “With a clear operational plan, a sound financial base, committed and passionate teams of staff and volunteers, Neil leaves a great legacy for a new chief executive to further develop and build on.”