We are pleased to announce that our first Patron for the Association is Claire Henry MBE.

Over the last three years the AOIC have gone from strength to strength and in many ways lead to way for developing new ideas and concepts in the world of Celebrant work.

Appointing a Patron such as Claire, who has so much knowledge and respect in ‘End of Life’ matters is indeed an honour for the Association.  In her role she will be able to strengthen the links between the National Council for Palliative Care, the Dying Matters Coalition and the AOIC.

The Association have been proud to be members of the NCPC and involved in their activities and are also proud to support the Dying Matters Coalition.  Working with Claire will provide a great deal of support and knowledge that we can use to stride forward as a ‘Trade Association’ for Celebrants and provide a greater knowledge to our members and those who we provide services for.

Claire Henry joined Dying Matters and NCPC from her role as Head of Programmes for Long Term Conditions and End of Life Care at NHS Improving Quality.

Prior to this role, Claire was Programme Director for the National End of Life Care Programme, which supported the implementation of the National End of Life Care Strategy for England.

Her previous roles have included National Director for the NHS End of Life Care Programme supporting SHA/PCTs and other organisations to improve the quality of care for all adult patients nearing the end of life. She had a number of roles within the Cancer Services Collaborative ‘Improvement Partnership’, supporting cancer networks in the implementation of service redesign for cancer services.

Claire’s background is in nursing. She trained at South Lincolnshire School of Nursing. After qualifying, Claire worked predominately in cancer and palliative care.

She was awarded an MBE for services to improving end of life care in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2013.

Last year, Claire also received a lifetime achievement award at the International Journal of Palliative Nursing Awards, sponsored by Macmillan Cancer Support.