We are delighted to announce the appointment of Keith Hardcastle as our new Chair of Trustees!

Keith started his post as Chair on 10th June 2020, replacing Stephen Redman who stepped down after six years as Chair, but will remain on the board until his formal term expires in September 2021.

Keith is an existing trustee and a chartered property professional, who has worked at board and operational Director level for a national firm of chartered architects and now as a consultant. Keith’s son Harry was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of three in 2006 and was introduced to Candlelighters shortly after his diagnosis. Keith joined the board in 2009 further to his very personal connection with the charity and was elected Vice-Chair in 2014. Keith said, “I was delighted and very honoured to have been chosen by the board and look forward to developing our support for children and their families through our amazing team at Candlelighters”.

Commenting on the announcement, our Chief Executive, Emily Wragg said: “I am delighted at Keith’s appointment as Chairman, and on behalf of everyone at Candlelighters I would like to congratulate him on his new role. His skills and experience will guide us through these unprecedented times and will ensure that we can continue to support the families that need us – now and during the challenging years ahead.

“I’d also like to thank Stephen Redman for his dedication and support over the past 13 years, especially his six-year tenure as chair, during which he worked tirelessly to champion the needs of families affected by childhood cancer. Without his input and unwavering passion, Candlelighters would not be the organisation it is today.”

Stephen may be a familiar face to lots of our families through his lengthy term on the board, and his hands-on approach has seen him involved in things like a pink custard dunk last year for Pink It Up! He first became involved with Candlelighters in 1998, when his four-year-old son Rocky was found to have a tumour and received treatment at St James’s Hospital in Leeds. Rocky survived for almost three years, leaving the family with wonderful memories, great hope and undented faith.

Stephen covered in custard as part of Pink It Up 2019

Stephen Redman said, “Supporting families through their child’s treatment is one of the key aims of Candlelighters and as a former parent of a child with cancer myself, I remember how the charity was there for us when we needed it most. Although it is with sadness that my term as Chair is finished, I’m pleased to be handing over the reins to Keith”.

Keith Hardcastle added: “The family support services we offer at Candlelighters make such a difference but it’s more important than ever that we maintain our services to the children and families that so desperately need us. Unfortunately, children are still being diagnosed with cancer and the current pandemic only adds to the stress and risks.

“COVID-19 has severely impacted our ability to fundraise and in order to deliver our essential family support services this year, we need to raise £525,000. My first job as the new Chair is to ask people for their support and to make a donation, if they can, to the Candlelighters Together Tin’. All donations, big or small, will help us keep our candle burning, so we can bring light to families in these darkest of times.”


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