The new chair of The ARCHIE Foundation says she is "hopeful and optimistic" about the future of the children’s hospital charity after helping to steer it through the toughest year of its 21-year history.

Carol Munro has been appointed to the role of chair following the retirement of long-standing chairman Joe Mackie OBE. Carol has served on ARCHIE’s board of trustees for three years, most recently as vice-chair, and is acutely aware of the challenges facing ARCHIE as it adapts and emerges from the impact of the COVID pandemic.

Carol admits there is still uncertainty around the shape of the charitable sector post-COVID, but says ARCHIE has a unique role to play in making a real difference for children and their families who find themselves facing the most difficult time of their lives.

She said: “ARCHIE has helped thousands of children and their families over more than two decades and, while the world changed last year, we remain as focused and committed as ever to continuing to deliver the essential services to those who need us most.

“As an organisation, we were not alone in facing tough decisions last year. We re-shaped, re-structured and re-wrote our expectations to allow us to focus on what we do best: and that is to fund the difference and make the difference for children and families through what can be the worst days of their lives.”

The ARCHIE Foundation’s lifeline of support includes providing and managing the parent hotel at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital to help keep families together through a crisis situation, as well as providing emergency financial grants to help families who are struggling with unexpected hospital visits or stays.

These and more elements of the key services and support the charity offers have been under threat as a result of experiencing a 67% reduction in income in 2020 due to cancelled events.

However, Carol praised the generosity of donors and the loyalty and dedication of the entire ARCHIE team for putting their ‘hearts and souls’ in to ensuring they could continue to serve the needs of local children and their families.

She added: “We all appreciate that there’s still a long road ahead this year, but I’m pragmatic in my approach to these challenges. ARCHIE is 21 now and, with that, comes experience and hope for the future. We are well organised and we do good work that makes a difference. Personally, I am excited to be taking on this role and optimistic about the future, but we will never take our eye off the ball.”

Carol is general manager for human resources and is part of the UK Leadership Team of CNOOC International, based in Aberdeen. Originally from Fife, she began her career in the NHS, covering various HR and training posts, after completing a Biological Sciences degree and a post-graduate management qualification from Napier University, Edinburgh. She has 35 years of HR and training experience gained in both the public and private sectors in the UK and internationally.

Carol lives with her husband, Donald, in Aberdeen and the couple have two grown-up daughters.