Barbara Gelb OBE to retire from the helm of UK charity Together for Short Lives

Categories: Leadership.

Together for Short Lives has announced this week that Barbara Gelb OBE is retiring from her role as Chief Executive of the charity. Barbara has worked in the children’s palliative care sector for 16 years, initially as CEO of Children’s Hospices UK. She was appointed as Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives following the merger in 2011 between Children’s Hospices UK and ACT.

Barbara Gelb OBE, Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives said:

“After many enjoyable and rewarding years in the world of children’s palliative care, my decision to retire from my role as Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives has been a huge one for me. I know that the time is now right for me personally, as I look to the next exciting chapter of my life.

I have been so fortunate to have worked with an extremely talented, skilled and hardworking team and Board here at Together for Short Lives, and with highly valued and respected colleagues across our sector, and beyond. But even more important have been the many children, young people and families I have encountered over the years. They have moved and inspired me and shown me just how much we have achieved together.
But there is so much more to do. The imminent publication of our new five-year strategy provides a firm foundation for my successor to work with our partners and our members to build on and continue the great work of Together for Short Lives.”

Dr Hilary Cass OBE, Chair of Together for Short Lives, added:

“We have been immensely fortunate to have had Barbara leading the organisation through the inception of Together for Short Lives, and through the coming of age of children’s palliative care as a specialty and as a growing movement in the UK. Barbara has been a passionate champion for children’s palliative care in the UK, and internationally with the International Children’s Palliative Care Network where she was a driving force in its establishment.

Under her overall leadership of Together for Short Lives the voice and profile of children’s palliative care has grown considerably. The award of her OBE captures more powerfully than any words her tenacious and tireless commitment and drive, and the invaluable contribution she has made to the sector during her years in post. We wish her all the best for her retirement from this role, and in whatever new ventures she takes on.”

Search for new Chief Executive

Together for Short Lives is progressing the search for a fixed term Chief Executive in partnership with GatenbySanderson. If you are interested in hearing more about this opportunity please contact Catherine Kift on 07921 948873 or email

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