It was with heavy heart that Elspeth Salter, head of our Maggie’s Centre in Fife, announced that she was handing over the reins at the end of the year.
But a desire to spend more time with family and complete new projects while the opportunity is available made the decision easy for Elspeth, who has steered the centre to bigger and better things over the past three years.
Elspeth (57), joined Maggie’s as centre head in 2011 after working as a clinical psychologist at the Edinburgh centre for six years and before that as a psychologist in oncology and palliative care with NHS Fife.
It was the natural next step for her, made more appealing by the fact that she would be returning to work in Fife where she lives and where she began her career and still had many contacts.
In the relatively short time she has been at the helm of the centre, which provides practical and psychological help and support to people diagnosed with cancer, their families and friends, numbers have more than doubled.
This has largely been due to the opening of the new hospital wing, bringing the centre into the heart of hospital life, with more people passing on a daily basis. It is also due to the centre’s evolving services, the backing of clinicians for them and increased publicity, as well as the glowing personal testimonies from current and previous visitors about the dedicated and caring staff and the brilliant service they provide.
“The centre is continuing to grow and expand its services and it has been great to be a part of its development,” said Elspeth.
“I am very sad to be going as it has been a tremendous place to finish off my working career, mainly because of the wonderful people I have come across on a daily basis here.
“The enormous strength of character and resilience they show despite their circumstances, and the way they help each other in times of need is so inspiring. I sometimes feel that they over-estimate what we do for them and under-estimate what they do for others.
“If there’s one thing that working with Maggie’s reminds us all it’s the importance of making the most of life and that loved ones must take priority.”