In November 2013 Len Richards moved to Australia to take up a Chief Executive role within the state of Queensland. From there he intends to support Improving Chances and to continue to take part in fundraising activities.
Prior to going to Australia he was the Chief Operating Officer of Barts Health NHS Trust and before that he was the CEO of Wirral University Foundation Trust. He has an extensive background in general management across a range of different hospitals in the NHS, with a particular focus on women and children's services. From 2001 to 2005 he was the Director of Children's Services, managing the two children’s hospitals in Manchester.
Len was inspired to work with Pat and John to establish Improving Chances after speaking to Pat following one of her visits to Fort Portal. He was shocked to learn that 1 in 200 women die needlessly in childbirth because of a lack of medical care, which is 50 times higher than here in the UK.
His visit to Uganda in 2009, when he toured the Good Shepherd School and the hospital development in Rwibaale, left a lasting impression on him. He says:
“I was impressed with the drive and the commitment of the Banyatereza Sisters to provide sustainable services to the most vulnerable in society. They have a dream and I want to do all that I can to help them fulfil that dream.”
Len is currently employed as the Chief Executive Officer at Cardiff & Vale University Health Board.
Patricia was a paediatrician with a particular involvement in the care of children with disabilities and special needs in Bolton (Lancashire), until she retired in 2007.
Having lived in Uganda as a small child she was interested in returning, and was introduced to Sr Theresa Abigaba who was just beginning to set up a school for children with special needs in Fort Portal. Together, early in 2008, they spent several months travelling into the outlying villages around Fort Portal to get an idea of the numbers of children with disabilities in the area, the children’s needs, and coincidentally the causes of their problems.
Pat has returned a number of times to support Sr Theresa as the Good Shepherd School has developed and she has focused on the health needs of the children now attending. During her time in Uganda she was introduced to Sr Ferdiana Kyegote and shown the need for and the start of the project for the development of a health unit for mothers and children in Rwbaale.
John, Pat’s husband, is a Chartered Accountant who had a long career working in the NHS, and was Finance Director at the Manchester Royal Infirmary until he left the NHS in 2007. Since then he has run his own consultancy business.
He has been the Chair of Lifeline, a national drug rehabilitation charity supporting people with problems of addiction. He sat on the Manchester magistrates’ bench from 1995 -2006. He became interested in Uganda and the health and education issues there through Pat’s involvement and has visited Uganda three times. He was inspired by the work Sr. Theresa has been doing at the Good Shepherd School and while in Uganda, he was introduced to the hospital project in Rwibaale.