Passing on the torch

Spring is said to be the season of change, and that’s certainly true at Macmillan – this year, we bid a fond farewell to our organisation’s most senior volunteer. After almost nine years as Macmillan Chair, the inspirational Julia Palca will step down, leaving the role in the capable hands of Richard Murley (pictured).

During her time as Macmillan Chair, Julia has been a tireless advocate for volunteering. In 2012, as part of our board of trustees, she successfully made the case for greater investment in volunteering. Without Julia’s steadfast support, and the investment she secured, we simply wouldn’t have the flourishing community of volunteers we have today, who make such a huge difference to the lives of people living with cancer.

A lasting legacy

Julia’s influence on volunteering has been enormous. One of her many achievements was spearheading the move from a Volunteer Council to a Volunteer Forum framework – which gives volunteers a greater input into decision-making at Macmillan.

We would also like to thank Julia for making our annual Volunteer Conference a reality. She saw its worth from the beginning and fought for investment in the event’s first year. Little did she know the conference would go on to become the highlight of our volunteering calendar.

‘The thing I’ve most enjoyed about being a Macmillan volunteer is being part of an organisation that helps millions of people affected by cancer,’ says Julia. ‘I’ve loved hearing the stories of other volunteers and finding out what motivates them.’

A warm welcome

Stepping into Julia’s shoes on 1 May 2019 is Richard Murley. Volunteering on our Board of Trustees since April 2017, Richard is no stranger to Macmillan and is excited to help us achieve our ambitious plans.

Richard's experience spans the finance, charity, legal and healthcare sectors, and includes seven years as Chairman of University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust. While at UCLH, Richard and his team worked closely with Macmillan on the development of our flagship cancer centre, which has supported more than 140,000 people to date.

His unique experience is vital in supporting Macmillan to deliver its new strategy in a tough external climate. Richard says he’s keen to spend time with Macmillan’s volunteers, so it’s no surprise that one of his first engagements will be attending this year’s Volunteer Conference.

‘I am very much looking forward to meeting with some of the thousands of people, up and down the four nations, who give their time to help Macmillan support people with cancer,’ he explains.