How long have you been a trustee at Derian House?
Since September, 2018
Why did you get involved?
I am a local boy and vividly remember the early fundraising, build and early development of services at Derian House. I come from a family where donation to our local hospice has always been a priority. I have friends who have accessed the services at Derian House and I lost my own father in 2019 and so have experienced first-hand the vital role that local hospices play.
I found myself in the fortunate position of retiring from full-time work early and felt able to commit to the time and focus required.
I spent my career working in the health and social care industry for more than 40 years, holding senior positions in the NHS and independent sector. I am absolutely delighted and honoured to be a trustee at Derian House and believe I bring to the table many years of experience and skills, which I will utilise to support the fantastic team, children, young people and their families.
What does your role as a trustee of the hospice entail?
It is my responsibility to always act in the best interests of the charity and remember that the key focus of everything we do is to provide the very best service to the children and young people we support.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a chef and work in a nice restaurant, mainly because I l love food and eating out. However upon leaving school, a friend of mine started nurse training and suggested I give it a go. I reluctantly agreed and loved it from day one, especially working with people. I have worked in the health and social care industry ever since.
What makes you feel proud to be a trustee at Derian House?
I feel proud that I am in a position to, in some small way, contribute to the direction of the hospice and assist in steering its safe direction for the future. I’m amazed by the strong skill base and positive energy of the staff and enjoy being part of it all. I am delighted that we were acknowledged and awarded Charity of the Year 2019 by JustGiving.
More than anything I feel proud and full of admiration for the babies, children, young people and families who access help, care and support from Derian House. They truly are exceptional individuals and inspirational.
What do you hope to achieve in your tenure as a trustee?
The hospice recently celebrated its 25th anniversary and, as with any service of this age, required review and debate regarding its purpose in order to ensure longevity and continue as market leader. I hope to continue to play my part in developing an outstanding service for the future.
What would you say to anyone considering becoming a trustee?
Give your time if you are able to and share your skills. Services simply won’t develop and thrive without your support!
Tell us a moment at Derian that has made you laugh or smile.
I love the fact that the children, young people and families have a strong voice regarding the running of the service and can so eloquently advise us when we get it right, but also when we get it wrong… it makes me smile and remember who is really in charge!