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A message from our Chair of Trustees and National President

We are delighted to have welcomed Samantha Sherratt as UA’s Transformation Director, who – working closely with the Board – will lead our charity in becoming the higher-profile, more accessible and sustainable organisation we need to be to survive and thrive for years to come.

During her first few weeks in this full-time role, Samantha will be getting to know more about the Association and all our stakeholders, most importantly our members and their families, as well as our wider community of healthcare professionals, stoma product companies and fellow charities. This will inform her work with the Board, continuing the transformation of the Association so that it has the profile and resilience needed to succeed in this tough economic climate and thrive as the ‘go to’ national charity for people with a urostomy or other type of urinary diversion.

With member numbers declining and a continuing financial deficit year on year, transformation is essential to keep the Association moving forward. This said, we recognise that times of change can feel unsettling and we acknowledge the concerns some of you have expressed, including in relation to the services UA provides.

That’s why we are re-stating here the Board’s firm commitment to continuing these services so that everyone in need of information, support and reassurance can access it free of charge regardless of their financial circumstances.

It’s important to say that what we are talking about is evolution, not revolution. In fact, we plan to both increase and enhance what UA offers. We will do this by growing our charity’s network of trained volunteers who kindly give their time and skills to support people online, over the telephone and in person, and by further embracing technology to offer webinars, videos and ‘ask the expert’ sessions.

Providing a first-class service remains our top priority, and in Samantha, we are confident we have a Transformation Director with a strong record of managing organisational change as well as generating income to support key projects. We are looking forward to her input, and she will receive our full support to achieve what needs to be done to help our charity succeed for the long term.

Through UA Voices, members and friends have the opportunity for greater influence on the way the Association is run and the services it delivers. We have extended the deadline for applications to join the group to 31 January 2024 – please see further details about UA Voices, including how to apply.

Next steps

Once Samantha has settled into her role as Transformation Director we’ll be hosting a webinar, giving you the opportunity to meet her, hear more about our plans and ask any questions. Please keep an eye out for details in our next newsletter.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support. It’s this that enables us to be the trusted friend people need as they contemplate surgery and adjust to life afterwards, as well as continuing our lobbying for high-quality, joined-up care for people with a urinary diversion, wherever they live in the UK.

We have much work to do to ensure the Association fulfils its exciting potential, and with your ongoing support we remain confident of getting there.