Rachel Black has joined Orpheus as our new CEO. Rachel was formerly Director of Care at Noah's Ark Children’s Hospice and has a broad experience of voluntary and public sector service delivery. A qualified teacher, lecturer and nurse, Rachel brings a wealth of management and supervision experience to the CEO role at Orpheus.

Graham Whitehead noted: “I am delighted to be handing the reins of the organisation to such a committed and experienced manager as Rachel and I am certain that she will bring a new vitality and inspiration to a wonderful team of staff and students. I have been very fortunate to work with so many dynamic and creative people during my seven years at Orpheus and I am certain it will grow and develop further under Rachel’s guidance.”

John Beer, Chair of Orpheus Board of Trustees said: “Rachel Black has a wealth of relevant experience and impressed the Trustee recruitment panel with her commitment to ensuring that Orpheus continues to develop and her enthusiasm towards working with staff, students and volunteers.”

 

 

Get to know our new CEO

Rachel started her career as a registered sick children’s nurse and a registered general nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital and Leicester Royal Infirmary. On qualifying, Rachel moved to Leeds to work in paediatric medicine, cardiology & cardiac surgery, paediatric high dependency and paediatric intensive care.

She got married to Simon at this point!

After completing a degree in biological sciences whilst working as a nurse she became a lecturer at Leeds University, completing a post graduate higher education teaching qualification. She then had two children, a son and a daughter, who are now 19 and 22.

Rachel moved to Kent and worked as a bank nurse whilst holding a teacher post in a secondary school teaching health and social care at GCSE and A Level and then moved into children’s palliative care in Kent. She held 3 different roles: lecturer-practitioner, then Head of Clinical Education, then Nurse Consultant. This role developed from Kent-based to a south-east role covering Kent, East Sussex and South London.

Rachel completed a PhD in social care, and focused on giving a voice to children’s palliative care service users and exploring the concepts of suffering and emotion management. She continued to hold honorary roles at the University of Kent and Kings College London and to participate in research activities and write for publication.

Her next role was a move to a Director of Care role in a children’s hospice in North London and held a registered manager role as well as strategic responsibilities. Rachel co-designed and oversaw completion of a new build hospice and design and development of new services. She continued honorary academic roles and writing for publication. Her special interest was in resilience, suffering, emotion management, palliative care, lived experience and enabling the voice of the individual.

In her free time Rachel likes to do cross country running with her collie, Mavis, go kayaking with her husband Simon, play guitar and sing [with a church band and other friends], play saxophone and piano really badly, read loads of books, and grow vegetables and flowers.

Rachel’s daughter is studying part time for a degree in English whilst working as a teaching assistant and hopes to become a special needs teacher. Rachel’s son is studying music production at a conservatoire. Rachel’s husband and son both play drums and guitar. It is a very noisy household.