This is my last blog while I am working for Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity. I have been looking back over the last few weeks and months. I have been very lucky with my career choices. I left university and became a junior journalist in North Wales. When I left to join The National Trust, little did I know that would be my other family for more than 28 years, moving to different locations and in several different jobs.

Then came the most dramatic change of all, when I came to London to take on the role of CEO – from a standing start.

I leave a vibrant and energetic Charity. The property team is ambitious and adaptive as has been shown by the choppy waters caused by the pandemic. The finance team is efficient and – oh joy – the figures match with the fundraising department! The fundraisers and the communications team won’t let anything stand in their way to support our two hospitals as best they can.

And now, we welcome my successor, Richard Bowyers. You will hear a lot more about him in the coming weeks. I think he will be a tremendous asset to the Charity and therefore to the hospitals and I am delighted he will be taking on the role after I have left.

Looking forward, I know the Charity will continue to raise funds, cater for tenants and deliver grants, gifts and other support to Royal Brompton and Harefield. At the time of writing, who knows how much relaxing of the various rules created by the pandemic will happen over the next six months and longer. I do know that our NHS colleagues are working very hard – as usual, of course – but this time bringing in patients who have had to wait because of covid, treating and caring and turning lives around.

I have written about some of the people I have met and the stories I have heard while I have been here. Courage and care lie at the heart of many of the stories. Courage on the part of our pioneering nurses and doctors to treat and send patients back home again to live their lives. I cannot name all the people who have made my time so special – I do hope you know who you are.

I have some work ahead of me in my partial retirement and I know I will hugely enjoy it. But these last eight and three quarter years will stay with me and I thank you – patients, colleagues, donors for making it such a very memorable time.