Anna Perolls was honoured to follow in her father’s footsteps when she stepped into the role of Hospices of Hope’s CEO in 2021. Here, Anna shares a little about her journey with the charity and her vision for the future of hospice care in South and East Europe

What was it like growing up with Hospices of Hope and how did that impact you?

I always joke that as a child, you’re never really interested in what your parents do, so I didn’t really understand what my dad had started until my first visit to Romania when I was 16. I was able to witness the charity’s work first hand and was deeply touched by the difference being made. I fell in love with Romania and was inspired to volunteer for the charity.When I was 18, I moved to Romania for two years to really understand how the hospice works and helps those in need. It is very humbling realising the impact your parents are making, and it was eye opening to see the healthcare situations in other countries. It really gave me the drive and determination to help others, and to continue my parents’ vision.

What was your journey to becoming CEO?

After working for Hospices of Hope for 10 years as Fundraising and Resources Director, I had an opportunity to become a part of the leadership team. When it opened up, I interviewed for the CEO role, hopeful that I would get it against other candidates, and was lucky enough do so! It was the charity’s 30th anniversary year, and we had been planning for some time, so it gave me a huge sense of pride, especially as it was just after the difficult years of the pandemic. I was really excited to step into a role I’ve always wanted, and to think about what the next 30 years might look like. For me, it was a case of same goals, but a new and fresh chapter.

What do you want to see in your time as CEO of Hospices of Hope?

I think unfortunately the fundraising climate is massively changing, so it is a huge worry to raise the funds to enable us to continue to support our hospice partners. I would therefore like to see a sustainable future for Hospices of Hope, to allow us to help each partner to achieve what they need to. Something I’d love to see is the building of a day centre in Greece. The lack of services in the country is shocking, and this is something the hospice teams really want to improve and need our help supporting.

How do you stay positive and hopeful in challenging times?

For me, what keeps me going in the role is the patients and what we do. I’ve been very privileged over the years to meet many patients benefitting from the work we’re doing. Hospices of Hope is very much about serving patients and developing palliative care, we are not here to serve ourselves. I know just how grateful patients are for the help and care, and that without some of our hospice partners they would have nowhere to turn–they are my inspiration and motivation to keep going!Outside of Hospices of Hope, I find happiness with friends, travelling and seeing as many places as possible, and being creative and crafting when I have spare time. I have recently become a mother to my wonderful son, Fredric Woods, so it’s been really exciting navigating this new chapter.

What is your vision for the future of hospice care in South and East Europe?

My vision and Hospices of Hope’s vision is for anyone, child or adult, that needs palliative care to receive it–free of charge. There is still a very long way to go, we need to continue lobbying governments, but with our efforts we will see an improvement and one day our vision will be fulfilled.

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