Meet Helen

Helen Curtis


Why did you get involved with Derian House?

I have been a Trustee at Derian House since December 2023. I retired from the NHS in March 2023 after working there for over 40 years, but I always knew I would want to do something in addition to leisure activities in my retirement. Being a Trustee at Derian House Children’s Hospice enables me to continue to utilise the skills and knowledge I have developed over my career and I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than trying to support Derian House.

What does your role as a Trustee entail?

The role of a Trustee is to seek assurance that the Hospice is providing high quality and safe care to the babies, children, young people, carers, and families that it serves. Trustees also need to ensure that the Hospice is well run and needs to ensure strong financial probity and decision making against a strategy that the Board of Trustees is responsible for setting. We owe this in particular to the many thousands of people who so generously raise an enormous amount of money every year to ensure the continuity of hospice provision for our children and young people.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

Now there’s a question! I wanted to be an Officer in the Royal Navy and then a Police Officer. However, one of my work placements at University saw me working in the NHS at Wessex Regional Health Authority and the rest is history!

What makes you feel proud to be a Trustee at Derian House?

As a Trustee working with the Senior Leadership Team, I see the potential to widen the offer of services to those Children and Young People who really need our care and this extends to those who care for them.

What do you hope to achieve in your tenure as a Trustee?

My passion and my role at a senior leadership level in the NHS was a focus on quality, safety and governance, and I hope to strengthen those aspects at the Hospice.

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a Trustee?

Do it! Even though I am relatively new to the role, I know that whilst there will inevitably be some difficult times and tough choices to make, the rewards will be immense.

Tell us about a moment at Derian that has made you laugh or smile?

Only the other day. I was by the pool and I could hear lots of splashing and laughter. When I peeped through the window, I couldn’t help but smile.