Skip to content

Karen Sugarman MBE

Executive Vice-President

Following a career in music, Karen joined Cancer Research UK as a volunteer before spending 15 years working with children and young people living with cancer and leukaemia. Having been aware of the vital importance of the hospice movement due to personal circumstances, it was in 2002 that Karen fulfilled her ambition to work in children’s palliative care when she joined The Shooting Star Trust.


In her current role as Executive Vice-President of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, Karen helps to drive and develop specialist fundraising streams, creating high-profile events and key donor programmes to build longevity and sustainability. Karen works closely with her co Vice-Presidents, who include Tony Hadley and Simon Cowell, and the charities army of high profile Patrons an celebrity supporters.


Karen has been responsible for securing and speaking at private events, including Buckingham Palace and Downing Street, as well as leading on projects such as the X Factor charity singe and working with Patron Dame Joan Collins who has donated much of her vast wardrobe to many of the charity’s shops.

Most recently, Karen secured £250,000 funding from the ICAP Charity Day to refurbish our Guildford hospice, Christopher’s, and was  responsible for working with NEXT to see the charity benefit from the retailers 5p carrier bag levy, raising £300,000 over three years.


Karen has recently become a weekend volunteer at one of our charity shops and looks forward to a weekly visit from some very special four-legged friends: “They know I have a jar of doggy biscuits under the counter. I now know all the dogs by their names; Gilbert the puppy loves our shop!”

In October 2020, Karen was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her hard work and dedication to charity, supporting children with life-limiting conditions, and their families for over 35 years.


Best thing about Shooting Star Children’s Hospices:


“Working with an incredible team across the charity and helping to create some very special memories for the children and families we support.”