About Us

Ostomy Lifestyle is a UK charity that was established in 2007. We provide support, advice and information to anyone affected by stoma surgery on their bowel or bladder.

The medical conditions that lead to stoma surgery can affect people of any age, gender, profession or race. We seek to empower people, enabling them to make informed choices and to communicate frankly about all aspects of stoma surgery, and we are working to raise awareness of ostomy issues, amongst both the medical profession and the general public.

•    Vision:
That having a stoma should never be a barrier to leading a full and active life.

•    Mission:
To promote the wellbeing of anyone who has had, or may need to have a colostomy, ileostomy or urostomy operation, and to inspire people living with a stoma, enabling them to live their life to its full potential.

Ostomy Lifestyle complements the services offered by the primary care sector and patient associations by offering impartial advice on a range of issues regarding stoma management and its effects on lifestyle, in order to improve the quality of patient care and shorten the length of the rehabilitation process.  We are certified as a provider of high quality health and social care information by The Information Standard scheme, as supported by the Department of Health.

Who We Are

Board of Trustees

Sue Hatton – Chair of Trustees

Leo Gribbon – Trustee

Hannah Gagen – Trustee

Judy Colston – Trustee

Board of Trustees

Sue Hatton (Chair of Trustees) – I had bowel cancer in 1997 and following chemo and radiotherapy and a miserable year of incontinence had a colostomy in 1998.  I became an Area Organiser for Cornwall for the British Colostomy Association. When Macmillan withdrew its funding from the BCA in 2005, I, along with fellow Trustees  formed the Colostomy Association and became Chairman, becoming Executive Trustee in 2009. In 2012 I had major surgery to remove pre-cancerous polyps resulting in an ileostomy, so my pedigree in the stoma world is quite extensive! I feels passionately that my experience as someone with a colostomy, ileostomy and being a Trustee can enable Ostomy Lifestyle to raise awareness of living with a stoma whatever the reason behind the surgery. 

Leo Gribbon (Trustee) – I discovered Ostomy Lifestyle initially through my work within the Healthcare sector. Immediately I was impressed with the fresh and inclusive approach that the charity took, both towards healthcare professionals and ostomists.  Through time I have gained a greater understanding of the many facets of the charity and gotten further involved with their many innovative projects.  It remains a pleasure and also very rewarding to be associated with Ostomy Lifestyle

Hannah Gagen (Trustee) – Up until my being appointed as a Trustee for Ostomy Lifestyle, my involvement with the charity was mainly through my fundraising effort of swimming Lake Windermere for them. I am not sure if being Trustee will be easier or not (probably less algae and warmer). In 2009 I had my permanent ileostomy formed. The experience of being quite ill and young and trying to live a full life as possible prior to my surgeries, now mean that everyday I now wake up excited to see what the world has to offer me, and me to it. Working with Ostomy Lifestyle is one way I can put something back and am very excited and privileged to work with the team. 

I currently work in the Pharmaceutical sector and have a background in Public Relations, Lobbying and the Creative Industries. When I’m not doing all that, you’ll mainly find me swimming in ponds, lakes, or a puddle, if it’s big enough.

Judy Colston (Trustee) – I had my permanent colostomy in 1996 for rectal cancer.  I was working for the NHS from which I retired 10 years ago. I became a volunteer for the Colostomy Association a year after my surgery following the wonderful support and encouragement I received by CA volunteers.  I wanted to do the same and have found this very rewarding. I’m delighted the CA is able to help Ostomy Lifestyle to continue their excellent work. I enjoy my role on the committee of our thriving local support group in Stevenage. I’ve been involved with Welwyn Hatfield Alzheimer’s Society support/social group and a centre for the elderly in Hatfield for over 20 years. Both charities are close to my heart for personal reasons.

I was delighted to accept when asked if I would like to become a Trustee for Ostomy Lifestyle.

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