Paul Horrocks is a journalist and media expert and former editor-in-chief of the Manchester Evening News. He is also a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater Manchester.
His mother was cared for at the Dumers Lane site and when he was chairman of Bury Primary Care Trust, he became involved with the hospice through that role.
Paul said: “I had been chairman of the PCT and we saw the development of the hospice and helped fund the new building. I remember coming here in wellies when it had just been built and we handed over the cheque for the new building. I later had an opportunity to join the board after I left the PCT and there was a big push to get the hospice back on a stable footing after a turbulent time. I wanted to make sure that we fulfilled the maximum potential that this hospice has. We also needed to raise the profile of the hospice and let people know about the services we provide and what we can offer them.”
Former actress-turned-TV director Noreen Kershaw has been a trustee for three years and became involved after her father was admitted to the in-patient unit at the former Dumers Lane site.
Noreen said: “I was working on Coronation Street at the time and I realised how much the hospice helped the family as well as the patient – even extended to the family. Before that, my dad had been in hospital and it was very hard for the over-worked NHS to deal with someone nearing the end of their life. I really wanted to get him in Bury Hospice and our doctor was fantastic. Dad was here and just the change in the care – not only for Dad, but for my brother and I too, was immense. You come into the building and they wrap their arms around you as a family. It’s amazing – my dad had everything he could want whilst he was in here and it made for a peaceful passing. When everything settled, I wanted to try and give something back which is when I became a volunteer. I had been scared to come into the hospice before because we had no idea of what hospices did and what they meant – I thought they would be sad and sombre places – but that couldn’t be further from the truth and the nursing staff and volunteers are angels on earth. I became a volunteer while directing Coronation Street and then became a trustee because I wanted to make sure that as many families could benefit from the care and love that we had got.”
Deborah Lisle became involved with the hospice after the death of her husband John, in October, 2015. The family were overwhelmed by the care and support they received from the hospice and Deborah has made it her mission to help in any way she can.
Deborah said: “As well as being a trustee, I am volunteer and organise the annual Strictly Best Foot Forward event. As a family, we will always remember what they did for John and for us. I am on a mission to do all I can to raise money for the hospice and raise awareness. I have a passion to make as much money for the hospice as I can and to help in any way I can. It is an absolutely vital service and no family in Bury should have to deal with a crisis situation at home when they could come here. It is about providing dignity which everyone needs. This is the best in Bury we can offer, but we need everyone in the town to support us because Bury is a big area – we have six townships.”
Donna has been a trustee for three years and her experience as a headteacher is invaluable in supporting hospice governance. She felt compelled to ‘give back’ having experienced the love and care at Bury Hospice when her mum was being cared for.
As headteacher of St Mary’s Primary School in Haslingden, Donna is passionate about dispelling the myths of Hospices, especially amongst younger audiences. Donna is driven in providing the best possible experience for her school – the recent accolade of St Mary’s bring ranked as the 14th best state primary school in the country by The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide 2020 is testament to that.
Donna said: “Before I stepped foot in a hospice I really had no idea how friendly, welcoming and homely they are, and that is especially true of Bury Hospice. My mission now is to involve younger people with Bury Hospice by bringing them in to meet the people here and see the fantastic work that goes on. Bury Hospice is an invaluable asset to the community of Bury, and being a trustee allows me to have a voice in making sure that we continue to keep developing to meet the ever increasing needs of the families we care for.”
Ruth Robinson was appointed a trustee of Bury Hospice in June, 2016.
Originally from the North East, Bury has been her home for the past 30 years.
She is managing director of Brighter Business Solutions, based in Warth Business centre, offering sales and marketing support locally and nationally.
Unlike some of the other trustees, she has had no personal experience of Bury Hospice but was encouraged to become involved by the chief executive at the time.
Ruth said: “I had no idea what a trustee was but it was recommended that I should I come and help. I appreciate the value of a hospice and the first time I came, I was bowled over by the quality of care and the facility. We still have a job to do in letting people know what we have here. People still associate the hospice purely with death. I have been a trustee for just over three years and have recently been reappointed. I am very commercially focused and passionate about bringing contacts in. I am also motivated by the challenge to consolidate the eight beds that we have open and although we are heavily supported by the public in Bury, a lot of people are not aware of the financial pressures we face.”
Devin Cassidy is the Headmaster of Bury Grammar School where he has worked for over twenty years and has taught in both the state and independent sector.
Following the death of a colleague at Bury Hospice in 2017, Devin was touched by the care and dignity which she and her family received which resulted in him volunteering to serve as a trustee.
Speaking about his appointment Devin said: “Bury Hospice is a very special place and an incredibly important organisation which is there for the people of Bury at their time of need providing dignity and exceptional care for patients and their families. I am honoured to be a trustee and to have the opportunity to serve the close-knit community of Bury and to contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of the Hospice. I hope that my experience, both as a Headmaster and as an Inspector will be of use as the Hospice strives to fulfil its strategic aims of being patient centred, community focussed and operationally excellent. I would urge everyone to get behind the Hospice in its 30th year and support it in any way they can to enable it to be there for the people of Bury when they need it most.”
Ruth Deakin is a Bury based lawyer who runs her own company Optimal Employment Law Ltd which provides support to many local businesses with employment law advice and HR issues. When Ruth read that Bury Hospice was recruiting new Trustees she got in touch immediately to express her interest.
She said: “The reason I did this was twofold. I value the opportunity to “give back” and by this I mean giving my time and support to such a worthy cause. Secondly, the hospice has always held a special place with me given my late father was cared for in the hospice where he passed away. At the time, I was a teenager and the hospice also supported me and made sure I received the support I needed. For this, I will be forever grateful. I enjoy being part of a team which makes decisions in the best interests of the hospice and the services it provides. Given how important the hospice is to our community, I know how much this means to so many people. The decisions we make will impact our community and therefore I understand the importance of my role as a Trustee. I am truly honoured and grateful to hold such a special position for the hospice. I know many families who have benefitted from the use of the hospice and without it, they would have suffered greatly. It is therefore imperative we can keep the hospice and all its fantastic services which it offers to our community. In order to be able to do this, we have some challenges to overcome in raising the necessary funds the hospice but I am certain that with great input from our Trustees and the amazing support from our community, we can overcome these challenges and make it happen!”
Liaqat is a retired scientist. Liaqat’s extensive local knowledge of the Bury Community is proving a valuable asset to the Hospice. He is also a long standing Governor at Unsworth Academy, is a member of Chief Executive Leadership team of the local authority, is part of the Multifath group (Chair of Bury faith forum) and is a Registrary (out of hours). Liaqat is also chair of the finance and audit committee at Unsworth Academy and the chair of the audit committee at Bury College. He is chairman of the Bury Islamic Centre (Fundraising).
He was the multifaith representative at LUAL 2020.
Liaqat said he wanted to bring his experience of working in the community to help promote the “amazing” work of the hospice to as many people as possible.
“I am very proud to have become a trustee for the Hospice, which is such vital service in Bury and has affected the lives of so many people locally in the 30 years it has been operating,” he added.