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Your chance to help shape St Catherine’s Hospice as a Trustee

It’s National Trustee Week so there’s no better time for us to announce we’re looking for two dynamic individuals to govern our organisation and help guide our future direction by joining our voluntary Board of Trustees.

Providing expert end of life care to local people, and more often, in the comfort of people’s own homes across Sussex and Surrey, now is an exciting time for us as a local charity. With our plans for a new, larger hospice progressing and a bold ambition to reach everyone in Sussex and Surrey who needs our care, we’re looking for people who can offer leadership and guidance during these times.  We’re particularly interested in hearing from people with a background and experience in Investment Planning, Retail, and Building Programme Management.

But why should you give your time to support our hospice in this vital role? Catherine Blackburn shares more about what she gains from volunteering with us as a Trustee.

“I’ve been a Trustee since 2016. With a professional background in marketing, and experience as a School Governor for many years, I felt that St Catherine’s Trustee role aligned well with my experience. Moreover, it gives me a unique opportunity to contribute to a fantastic local charity.

Two years earlier, my family and I experienced St Catherine’s care first hand. We were trying to help loved ones manage difficult illnesses, and when things were possibly at their darkest; St Catherine’s stepped in to support us.

My father-in-law, David, had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. He was frail, frightened and in pain. But as soon as we were referred to St Catherine’s, the hospice immediately helped us. When their care and support at home became insufficient, they took David into the hospice to make him more comfortable. And when we visited him at St Catherine’s it felt so different to visiting a hospital. The care felt gentle and respectful. Every time we visited, someone let us know what was happening. When the time came David died peacefully, surrounded by loved ones. It’s something I don’t think would have been possible without St Catherine’s.

At the hospice, doctors, nurses, therapists and volunteers work tirelessly to provide exceptional physical, emotional and spiritual care to patients and their family and friends. But currently, only one in three local people who need this care are able to get it. All of us involved with St Catherine’s know this needs to change. Collectively, under the leadership of me and my Trustee colleagues, we’ve committed to a key objective; to reach everyone in Sussex and Surrey when they need our help.

I absolutely love my Trustee role. My fellow Trustees have a wide range of complementary skills from which I benefit, and we all have a passion to make St Catherine’s the best it can be. When we recruit new Trustees, we make sure that we’re bringing additional skills to our existing team, so that everyone has a valid contribution to make.

It’s a very inspiring place to volunteer and you gain a lot from being involved. But we do work hard! A Trustee role is much more than just attending a few meetings. There’s a robust calendar of meetings and work groups, an important ambassadorial role to attend events, and often, the need to undertake training to ensure we’re appropriately skilled. It’s very rewarding though and I benefit hugely from being engaged in such important work. I’m very proud to be a part of such a great organisation. I hope lots of you will consider joining me.”

If you’re feeling inspired to find out more, please register your interest by emailing Peter Nesbitt on: volunteering@stch.org.uk or calling him on: 01293 447351.

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