The Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield has appointed Gareth Pierce as its new CEO. Gareth will take up his post in September following the retirement of current chief executive Luen Thompson. 

With an extensive background in management, Gareth joined the hospice as head of retail in 2016, becoming the director of income generation in 2018, responsible for raising the £5.5 million the hospice needs each year in order to run.

As a key member of the senior leadership team, Gareth has also always considered the needs of children and families first and as such has been integral to the design of new services and ensuring those services are sustainably funded.

He recently played an integral role in the development of the charity’s ‘Thrive25’ strategy, which aims to improve how families are supported and the way the hospice provides its care. 

Gareth said: “Having worked for Forget Me Not for seven years, I am fully aware of the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead. As CEO, my top priority will be to ensure Forget Me Not continues to deliver the highest quality care to children and families, making sure that our services are accessible to all those who need our support.

“Additionally, I will be building on the work we’ve already done to ensure that Forget Me Not remains a great place to work. Our incredible team are invaluable to our mission.”

HRH Princess Beatrice and Forget Me Not CEO Luen Thompson when the Princess planted a time capsule to mark the 10th anniversary

Gareth steps into this role at a critical time for the charity as it strives to double its income over the next 10 years to combat rising costs and to deliver more and better care to families in West Yorkshire who are living with or facing the loss of their child. 

Jeremy Cross, chair of Forget Me Not’s Board of Trustees, said: “Now is a time to look forward, and Gareth has demonstrated a clear ability and ambition to lead Forget Me Not through its next exciting chapter. 

“In his current role, he has been responsible for providing strategic direction to raise millions of pounds, and he has succeeded in this, even amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Gareth possesses a high level of empathy for the struggles faced by the families we support, understanding the chaos in their lives and their often complex support systems.

“He is dedicated to ensuring that Forget Me Not becomes an integral part of the solution for these families. Gareth has already demonstrated immense passion and energy in his previous roles, and we have no doubt that he will bring the same level of success to his new position, building on the excellent platform that Luen, our current CEO, leaves behind.

“We would like to thank Luen for everything she has done for Forget Me Not, from launching our pioneering trailblazer strategy to leading us through the pandemic and her work in introducing and advocating our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy and our People Promise. We wish her all the best and hope she enjoys a well-deserved retirement.

“I am excited for our future where I know we will continue to deliver the outstanding care that under Luen’s leadership we have become known for, while working to ensure that no family in West Yorkshire has to face the loss of their child alone.”

Gareth will be working with Luen on a handover and induction over the next few months.