2019 has been a busy year here at St. Rocco's, from our fabulous events to the opening and relocation of new shops, we've certainly had a lot of things to do!
2019 has been a busy year here at St. Rocco's, from our fabulous events to the opening and relocation of new shops, we've certainly had a lot of things to do! July saw a reshuffle of our Board of Trustee's too as Roger Preece was appointed as Master of St. Katherine's in London. Guy Hindle was unanimously voted as the new Chair and he took a few minutes to introduce himself and talk about his new role...
Hi Guy, We’ve mentioned you in our social media posts over the past few weeks but take this opportunity to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about yourself…
I have lived in Warrington for all of my 52 years. My family are Warringtonian’s and have been heavily involved in many aspects of the town for decades. My grandad George was the town councillor who oversaw the purchase of Walton Hall and Gardens for the people of the town. My grandma Amy was the Mayor, and my dad and uncle both played for Warrington Wolves, albeit long before the name change. One of my proudest possessions is a photograph of the Warrington team in 1951 with dad pictured next to the great Brian Bevan who played on the other wing.
My wife of 31 years Lin is also from the town and works in one of our high schools which both my daughter and son attended. The children both live in Warrington too and we now have a granddaughter too, so we are a real Warrington family, born and bred!
My mum is local and one of seven children from Latchford, six of whom still live in the town; so again, it is fair to say that we are Warrington through and through.
Professionally, I spent 30 years in the Cheshire Police. My happiest times were working in my hometown, despite some of the hardships that the town has seen over the years. However, it’s involvement in all the tougher issues that I think has made my connection to the town even stronger.
When I retired from the police as an Assistant Chief Constable, it was important to me to find a way to still contribute to the community in a way that policing had enabled.
So that’s where St. Rocco’s comes into the picture, tell us a little bit more on how and why you became involved with the hospice…
I was fortunate enough to be approached by my good friend Zac Clements who was a trustee at the hospice. I learned that the board were searching for new trustees to give their time and commitment. St Rocco’s held a special place in my mind as it does for so many people in Warrington due to family and friends who have received exceptional care and support there over many years. I jumped at the chance to get involved and was accepted onto the board in 2017. I soon found that my superficial view of the hospice didn’t do it any justice. The staff are simply outstanding and the care that they provide to people in the most desperate situations leaves me humbled.
In the two years that you’ve been here you’ve seen a lot of changes, how are you feeling about this new chapter and the position you’ll be taking on?
As many of you will know one of our previous Chairs, Norman Banner sadly died recently. I had the privilege of working briefly with Norman who was a wonderful advocate for the hospice. When Norman stood down as Chair in 2017, he was succeeded by Roger Preece. Roger followed Norman’s path in supporting the management team by ensuring that the board of trustees were equipped and motivated to help. When asked to take over from Roger as Chair, I was hesitant given the quality of my predecessors. I have taken confidence from my knowledge of how both Norman and Roger worked, and will try to continue their selfless and supportive style. I have great colleagues on the board to rely on and work with, whether they are fellow trustees or experienced Vice Presidents.
As you’ve mentioned before, St. Rocco’s always aims to provide excellent care and support to all of it’s patients and their families within Warrington. What do you think the future looks like for St. Rocco’s and hospice care in general?
Like most hospices, St Rocco’s is reliant on the goodwill of the community. It is a charity that receives a small proportion of its funding from the NHS. Many people may think that it is the other way round, but it isn’t. Without the donations that the people of Warrington make every day, St Rocco’s would cease to exist and end of life care would be the responsibility of an overstretched hospital. We all know that the current NHS can’t cope with the demands placed on it, so the provision of a hospice that is based on charitable funding provides a service that wouldn’t exist without the help of the community.
And finally, what is your message for the people of Warrington?
It is a sad fact that we will all be touched by the services provided St Rocco’s, whether at the hospice itself or by the staff out visiting in the community. Without the ongoing support not only of donations, but also by our hundreds of volunteers, those services will reduce. My message to you, as a resident of Warrington, is to please continue to support this wonderful place. Every penny helps, as does every minute of volunteer time given. If you would like to help, we would welcome you, whether by donating, joining our lottery, or volunteering in any way you can; in the gardens, on reception, at our events, or on the board. St Rocco’s is for you. For the people of Warrington. Please help to keep St Rocco’s doing what it does in any way it can.