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The Hospice Movement, David Burland

David Burland, former Deputy CEO of Hospice UK, joins Purposely to share his valuable insights into the Hospice Movement and the broader charitable sector.


We also delve into the roots of his purpose-driven career and his current role as an advisor.


David's journey in the charity sector began in the late '80s. His first role after university was organising business exhibitions and it was during this period that he saw a job opportunity at the Royal Star and Garter Home, an organisation his grandmother had once been a volunteer. This role marked his entry into the world of fundraising, and he was also captivated by the privilege of meeting veterans from the First and Second World Wars. David's experience at the home helped him to develop a strong sense of purpose and he first experienced the joy one can get from making a positive difference.


David's career path eventually led him to Princess Alice Hospice in Esher Surrey, as Director of Marketing, fuelling his passion for hospices and the work they do to support people at the end of life along with their families.


Subsequently, David joined Help the Hospices, now known as Hospice UK, where he spent 13 successful years. He held roles as Director of Income Generation and later as Deputy CEO, allowing him to play a crucial role in engaging with member hospices across the nation.

In 2012, David took on the role of CEO at Shooting Star Chase, a children's hospice formed through a merger. His tenure was marked by the following achievements, including the accreditation of both hospices as 'Outstanding' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Under his leadership, the hospice expanded its services, significantly enhancing support for children and families in need.


Today, David serves as a respected freelance consultant, collaborating with a diverse range of voluntary sector clients on multifaceted projects. His expertise encompasses various areas, including income generation, governance, and stakeholder management.


David's insights extend to the governance of charities, where he has observed the challenges faced by trustees, especially those who have excelled in other sectors and find themselves navigating leadership and HR issues.


We get his views on nonprofit governance and he emphasises that the traditional governance model, rooted in a 19th-century Victorian framework, faces immense pressure, especially in the context of large multinational organisations. David talks about the reliance on volunteer trustees, who often have additional responsibilities, is increasingly under scrutiny. He points to the need for a more contemporary and adaptable approach to governance is evident, given the complexity and diversity of today's charitable landscape.


David's journey and perspective provide invaluable insights into the world of hospices and the charitable sector, shedding light on the challenges and transformations within the industry.

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