The chief executive of EllenorLions Hospices has retired after 26 years in charge of the north Kent charity.
Carol Stone has stood down after helping to oversee the charity’s growth from a small organisation to one that helps thousands of patients and their families every year.
Mrs Stone joined the organisation in 1988 as senior nurse specialist, leading four homecare nurses and establishing a palliative care team at a local hospital.
She said: "I had a dream and a vision for hospice care, and to be able to see it through is a tremendous gift.
"I am very proud of the team and all that has been achieved.
"We have developed our care over the years by asking patients what would make a difference and listening to what they want.
Mrs Stone has overseen the launch of a home respite care, established the charity’s specialist children’s hospice at home service (chYps) and the merger of the Ellenor Foundation and the Lions Hospice in 2007.
On Monday, March 31 colleagues and volunteers got together with Carol to give her a celebratory send-off.
Chairman Mo Tutty added: "We are all very grateful for the huge commitment and fantastic leadership that Carol has given.
"She has embedded compassion and care within our core values and leaves an organisation that provides a much loved and valued service into our local community."
For more information about how you can support EllenorLions Hospices please visit ellenorlions.org or follow @EllenorLions on Twitter.