Trustee Changes at Havens Hospices

A former nurse taking on a top role at Havens Hospices says the charity needs to have 'diversity in thinking' so it can fulfil its true mission

A former nurse taking on a top role at Havens Hospices says the charity needs to have ‘diversity in thinking’ so it can fulfil its true mission.

Liz Mell was voted in on Friday 27th November, taking over from outgoing Chair of Trustees Brian Terry. A nurse by profession, Liz has a career history of more than 30 years working in health and social care. Liz trained at Kings College in London, worked for many years for a national disability charity and has lived in the Southend area for her entire life.

A long term supporter of Havens Hospices, Liz officially joined as a Trustee 12 months ago, but had actually started her induction a year prior to that.

She says, “I’ve met some amazing and interesting people and witnessed some fantastic work going on with our children and patients. I have seen dedication, enthusiasm and a real passion for making a difference for the families and patients.”

Referencing the vast change Havens Hospices has seen over the last 24 months, Liz continues, “Even with all the challenges that our history, and now Covid has brought, we are developing an organisation that is really prepared and resilient, working smarter and harder to continue making that difference in our community.

“With the changes we’re seeing within the wider healthcare sector, our charity and its governance needs to constantly evolve to ensure we’re fulfilling our Mission and Vision, whilst staying true to our Values.”

Governance can seem like an elusive entity within the charity and sometimes there is a misunderstanding over the remit and responsibility of the Board of Trustees. Liz says, “In basic terms, governance means making sure that we are doing the things we set out to do properly, effectively and legally. It ensures that we look after the money, investments and resources that are given to us – donations from supporters, volunteers’ time or our staffs’ commitment.

“All of these things are vital for us to deliver the care of the hospices and our community and support services, so governance oversees this to make sure we have the policies in place to be effective, safe, supported and focussed on the needs of our patients, their families and the community.”

The development and wellbeing of staff is a priority for Liz, as is diversity. “Having worked with people with disabilities my whole career, I passionately believe that it takes whole communities to provide good support and enable people to give their best and to be their best. If we don’t have diversity in our people, then we don’t have diversity of thinking. The danger then is that we don’t see things that could be prevented or we miss gaps in our service and what the barriers to accessing our services are.

“People of different abilities and backgrounds bring different assets, everyone has valuable skills and knowledge that they bring as personalities and as individuals. So whether you’re working in housekeeping, on the care floor, as a shop volunteer or as a Trustee, there’s huge strength and value in diversity in terms of age, background and religion, for example. It brings different perspectives, which then brings richness to the things we do.”

A recruitment campaign for more Trustees to join Havens Hospices will commence in 2021. To register interest, please email

Published: 30th November 2020

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Liz Mell sitting in Sanctuary at Little Havens