A Tribute to Lady Elizabeth Vallance

Written by Caroline Jessel, Chair & Founder of Dandelion Time

Lady Elizabeth Vallance at Linton Park’s Dandelion Time Fundraiser Event

I first met Liz about 20 years ago when she moved to Sutton Valence and became my patient. We seemed to click straight away although I’m certain that I am not alone in feeling that. Liz exuded warmth and empathy so was very easy to relate to. As a patient she was always very sensible and never took too much of a busy GPs time, but somehow we managed to have a chat and usually a joke at every visit so it was always a huge pleasure to see her. I soon realised she was an exceptional woman in her own right with an intuitive understanding of a wide range of issues, along with a razor-sharp intelligence.

When a much-loved trustee retired from Dandelion Time I thought Liz would make a wonderful new member of the board.  I had recently left the practice and had no idea how eminent her career had been until I researched her online for the trustee role. Given her wide experience and the fact she chaired so many other organisations I was amazed she said yes. Liz came to visit us and was very engaged with our mission from the start. She and her husband Iain hosted a lovely fundraising event in their beautiful garden at Sutton Place, introducing the charity to many new benefactors.

Lady Elizabeth Vallance, Caroline Jessel & Anyes Reading at a Dandelion Time’s Harvest Festival

It was a huge shock to us all when we learnt of her serious illness earlier in the year. Liz epitomised energy, vitality and positivity. It seemed impossible that we would lose her and our hearts went out to her family who were contemplating such a huge loss at a very difficult time. Several members of the team expressed their strong admiration and awe for a woman who gave so much, apparently effortlessly, yet it must have had a big impact on her own life.

Liz has been an outstanding trustee for 10 years and we owe her a huge debt of gratitude.  She has given us a great deal of time despite being a very busy woman, chairing many other organisations, and always brings a wonderful intellect, grasp of detail and incisiveness combined with lightness of touch to our board meetings. She has also very ably chaired our Remuneration Committee for several years.  Importantly she really understands our mission and has supported us in many ways outside the boardroom. She will be sorely missed.

 

Lady Elizabeth Vallance, Trustee at Dandelion Time 2010 to 2020