'I've had the best job in East Anglia' - Charity executive who transformed children's lives retires
PUBLISHED: 17:06 09 July 2019 | UPDATED: 17:06 09 July 2019
A visionary executive at East Anglian Children's Hospices (EACH) has announced his retirement after more than a decade helping children and families.
Graham Butland, 70, who lives in Great Notley, Essex, joined EACH in 2003 - a charity which runs hospices across East Anglia for children needing end of life care.
Mr Butland, who is responsible for EACH's strategy and management as chief executive, oversaw two multi-million pound fundraising campaigns during his career.
In 2011, he was at the helm of a successful £3m appeal for the building of The Treehouse hospice in Ipswich.
He later in 2014 headed a £10m campaign in Norfolk.
It has funded a purpose-built hospice, The Nook, in Framingham Earl, and is expected to open officially in September this year.
Of his career, Mr Butland said: "The most rewarding part has been helping families through something which I, as a parent and grandparent, fortunately have never had to face - the loss of a child."
However, Mr Butland's retirement was long overdue.
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When he first accepted the job, he said in the interview that he would only work for another four years as he had no intention of working past the age of 60.
But a series of life-changing projects and opportunities meant that he delayed his retirement for a further six years.
Mr Butland said: "I was going to retire in 2009, but then we started building The Treehouse, and I wanted to see it through."
His next proposed retirement date, in 2011, was curtailed by none other than Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton when she contacted EACH out of the blue to become their patron.
Mr Butland said that he had never expected to work with a royal and that the Duchess's work with EACH boosted the profile of the charity and the importance of children's palliative care.
Now all of his ongoing projects have a completion date, Mr Butland will finally retire on October 31.
He plans to spend more time with his wife, Teresa Butland, 70, who he met while working at an accountancy firm in Essex.
He added: "Without her support I could not have done everything I've done."
To donate to EACH https://www.each.org.uk/