Lorraine Clifton of Clic Sargent

The departing chief executive says her focus at the charity was having a clear vision, focus and strategy

Lorraine Clifton
Lorraine Clifton

Life has become tougher in the sector during the six years I've been here. We have inherited more responsibilities, either because the state sector has moved away from them or people have found themselves in increasingly difficult situations. It's a challenging time for all charities, but it's fabulous how committed Clic Sargent staff have been. There has been no resistance to change, which is such a healthy attitude to have in an organisation.

I joined because I thought the cause was great. I really like the holistic approach that helps children and families get through their treatment, then move on with their lives. It's about building resilience and future strength, rather than dependency.

The extent to which the charity involves young people in how it works is something I love. We have a young people's advisory group and young people on interview panels, and we work very closely with our service users, which keeps us grounded in what we do.

Clarity is the most important determinant of success, and my focus has been on having a clear vision, purpose and strategy. This is what I came in trying to do and this is where the charity is today, which makes it a good time for me to hand over to someone else.

Some of the ideas I am piling up are about working in the third sector and some are about doing something completely different. I'll take a few weeks off, really reflect and not rush into anything. I don't intend to be in paid employment, but I will be looking for another couple of trusteeships.

A chief executive job is not on my list. I have lots of interests and hobbies to pursue and would like to be able to have a much more mixed life.

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