We are saying a sad farewell to Sue Sjuve, our Chair for six years and a much valued and respected member of the Royal Surrey family.
Sue joined the Trust in March 2017 and has been with us through CQC inspections, royal visits and the pandemic, during which she volunteered to work alongside frontline staff as a Covid Support Worker.
Louise Stead, Chief Executive, speaking at Sue’s leaving tea, said: “When I look at photographs, which show important moments for the Trust, I see Sue standing alongside me.
“She has been a brilliant supporter and leader through everything from CQC inspections to royal visits.
“Over the past six years she has done something that not all Chairs manage to do – she has worked her way into the fabric of our Trust.”
Sue came to the Trust with a wealth of knowledge and experience having worked in banking and commercial organisations, as well as having served as Chair of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust.
During her time at Royal Surrey she has championed staff health and wellbeing by taking on the position of Wellbeing Guardian.
She has also worked to raise awareness of disabilities as a member of DAWN, our Disability Network, as well as supporting other groups.
On top of this Sue has created and maintained partnerships with a number of organisations. This saw her recognised with a Fellowship of the University of Surrey for her contribution to both Royal Surrey and the community of Guildford.
Dave Chuter, our Lead Governor, also recognised the efforts that she has made to strengthen our Governors during her tenure.
Sue is planning to use her retirement to spend more time with her beloved children and grandchildren. As she put it herself last year, she wants to spend more time ‘tickling small people, building forts and making mud pies.’
During the farewell event, Sue thanked her colleagues for their support adding, ‘I have about four-and-a-half thousand thank yous to make.’
In a short speech she recognised her fellow Non-Executive Directors, Governors and Executive Team.
Sue also singled out Chief Executive, Louise Stead, who she described as ‘putting her heart and soul into the job.’
She said Louise had taken on a ‘tough gig’ since her appointment, but had done ‘an amazing job’ in seeing the trust through regulatory inspections, a once in a lifetime global pandemic and the evolution of the ICS.
Sue added: “It feels like the right time to be going.
“I think change is a good opportunity to get fresh perspective, fresh energy and enthusiasm and it will be good for the Trust.
“My husband retired 18 years ago and has been waiting a long time for me to join him. I hope he doesn’t regret it.”
Joss Bigmore has been appointed as our new Chair and he will take up his post on Wednesday 1 March.