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On the move

29 November 2017
  • Rob Jones with daughter Poppy on Ty Hafan’s Snowdogs fundraising trail
  • Tim Halstead
  • Emma Britton with Billy
  • Jo Tonkin

Here is November’s edition of the latest appointments in the hospice sector.

Father supported by Tŷ Hafan children's hospice becomes its CEO

A chartered accountant with both charity and commercial sector experience, after five years of receiving care for his daughter from Tŷ Hafan in Sully, Wales, Rob Jones has been appointed its Chief Executive.

Jones will lead the charity as it continues to develop its services for children with life-limiting conditions and their families in homes and communities across Wales.

He first arrived at Tŷ Hafan with his family in 2012 for a short break from providing round-the-clock care for his daughter Poppy, who has a life-limiting condition. Together with his wife Rachel and their five children, they felt they had “no one turn to in a crisis” and were “exhausted and desperate” by the time they were referred to the hospice, when Poppy was seven.

His determination to help the charity provide the best possible care for families across Wales was driven by his experiences.

He explained:

“My goal is for the care that we provide to become a right for every child and every family that needs it. The best place to receive care is actually in the family home. It is going to be quite a journey for us to achieve that, but it is what is best for families. In the meantime, we’ve got our fantastic hospice and our community team is growing.”

“This is my single biggest achievement in my life; I will never top this. I have a level of determination that I would not have if my job was not so important to me. It is a vocation.”

Tim Halstead appoints new chair of trustees at Martin House Hospice Care

Solicitor Tim Halstead, the managing partner of Leeds law firm Shulmans LLP, has been a trustee at Martin House since 2013, and has chaired the finance and resource committee for the last two years. He now replaces Will Lifford as chair of trustees who has retired after eight years.

Halstead said:

“I feel very proud to be appointed chair at Martin House. We are in a transitional period, with a new chief executive and we are currently working on our strategy for the next few years. Martin House is a wonderful place, providing outstanding care and support to children, young people and their families. We aim to build on that and ensure that Martin House can continue its important work for many years to come.”

In addition to care provision at its hospice in Boston Spa, Martin House last year entered into a pioneering research partnership with York University.

He continued:

“Our vision is that every child and young person gets the care they need, when and where they need it, which is not restricted to what we do within the hospice itself.”

“There are lots of facets and I think that it is part of our role as trustees to make sure Martin House works cohesively so people understand it. It is great that we can play a wider role as one of the original hospices in the UK.”

St Margaret’s Hospice welcomes Billy the Beagle and radio presenter Emma Britton as patrons

Local radio presenter Emma Britton and pet beagle Billy have been named patrons of St Margaret’s Hospice in Somerset.

Billy is believed to be the first ever animal patron for a hospice in the UK and is already a big hit with patients and staff.

Britton, Breakfast Show presenter for BBC Somerset and BBC Radio Bristol, has regularly featured St. Margaret’s staff and supporters on her show to share their stories. Somerset born and bred, Emma was keen to affirm her support of the hospice.

Billy was equally pleased to become a patron and adds his responsibilities to those he already has as a registered ‘Pets As Therapy’ (PAT) dog, regularly visiting residential homes for elderly people throughout Somerset with Emma.

Britton said:

“Billy and I were delighted to be approached because we are both big supporters of the hospice.  Billy loves meeting new people and helping them feel relaxed, and he especially likes a cuddle.  Cuddles are free and, I find, almost certain to cheer you up.”

Ann Lee, Chief Executive said:

“Emma has been a great advocate for the work we do in Somerset, personally and through her role as a BBC radio presenter where she has given us an invaluable public platform to tell our story.”

“Pet therapy has been shown to increase pain tolerance, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and bring smiles to patient's faces. It can be especially useful in the hospice setting for patients who have withdrawn from the people around them but find interacting with an animal easier and less painful. Our patients, staff and volunteers are already looking forward to Emma and Billy’s next visit.”

St Helena Hospice appoints Jo Tonkin as Director of Patient and Family Services

Jo Tonkin says her new role at St Helena Hospice in Colchester in which she will be responsible for staff working with patients and their families in the community as well as in the hospice, feels like “closing the loop” on her career.

She explained:

“I have been privileged enough to work with patients at the beginning of their cancer journey, and in their treatment phase, and I have worked with patients in a hospital with palliative care needs. Until now I have not been able to close the loop and work with patients and their families towards the end of their journey in a hospice environment or in their homes.”

During her career in nursing Jo has worked at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, Charing Cross Hospital and The Royal Marsden in London as well as West Suffolk, Colchester and Ipswich hospitals. Now she is committed to making St Helena Hospice’s services available to as many people as possible in north Essex.

“We know that the quality of care that is provided for the whole family by the hospice is so needed and there are so many people out there who need that level of service and currently are unable to tap into it.”

“That is not just those with cancer, but those with long term conditions such as dementia, heart failure, or respiratory conditions. If I can help the hospice widen its reach for these patients and their families I will feel like I have made a difference.”

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