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Barbara Gelb

Chief Executive, Together for Short Lives

Barbara studied social work and psychology at the University of Cape Town, and also holds an MSc in Leadership and Organisation of the Public Services (distinction) from Bristol Business School.

She started her working life as a social worker in London with Scope, the UK disability charity, and since then her career has been dedicated to the development and delivery of high quality services for children, young people and their families.

She worked in children’s social care in the local authority in Bristol for several years before taking up a senior role in children’s social services in Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Barbara became Chief Executive of Children’s Hospices UK in 2001. She was appointed to the role of Chief Executive of Together for Short Lives in 2012, following the merger of Children’s Hospices UK and ACT.

Barbara has also been active in children’s palliative care internationally. Working with others, she was a driving force in the establishment in 2006 of the International Children’s Palliative Care Network (ICPCN).

Barbara was appointed as a Trustee of National Voices in June 2016.

Barbara was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s New Year Honours List 2015, in recognition of her services to improving care services for children.

A Time For Reflection

There is an opportunity for the Prime Minister to respond to the challenges faced by the 49,000 - we hope she will listen to these, the weakest, most vulnerable voices so that we can improve the quality of life and end of life care, however short that might be.
04/08/2017 15:36 BST

A Budget For Those Who Are Just About Managing To Survive

As the mother and carer of Stanley appealed 'they just don't get it... Stanley needs that support now... it is unlikely that he will live till three.' The change required to support these families would amount to £5-6million a year. It would support and improve the lives of 1,500 children.
09/02/2017 11:06 GMT

Families Of Seriously-Ill Children Feeling The Strain Of Funding Cuts

As the Chancellor rises to his feet to give his much-anticipated Autumn Statement tomorrow, there will be much jeering and cheering from all sides of the House of Commons. In the detail of the important announcements that will be made on Wednesday there is a danger that one voice won't be heard. The voice of children and young people with life-shortening conditions.
22/11/2016 08:48 GMT