Our Chair of Trustees, Will Spinks

The success of Hospice @ Home has shown East Cheshire Hospice the merit of taking more palliative care services out into people's homes.

Extending that help for those who prefer to be treated at home will be a key focus for new Chair of Trustees Will Spinks and his team.

The Hospice is responding to patient feedback but stresses that inpatient services will be protected.   

Will, who replaced retiring Chair Rob Barrow, said: "It's AND rather than OR and that's quite an important message for people to understand. It allows us to reach more people than we'd otherwise be able to reach and help.

"We'd carry on with the physical presence in a building, and services provided through the building, but in addition we'd increasingly take services to where people are.

"Hospice @ Home has been the start of that and demonstrated the need. The first year figures are incredible and that's all without any additional funding from the NHS."

Hospice @ Home, which provides 'out of hours' support, has treated 400 patients in its first 15 months. 

In total, 1,000 patients received care from the charity in 2018, with 4,000 family members supported by services including bereavement counselling and various therapies. 

Will retired as Registrar, Secretary and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Manchester in September, a role he held for seven years after a similar position at Loughborough University.

He went into higher education in 2007 after 28 years with AstraZeneca, joining in its ICI days. He was site manager at Alderley Park for his last seven years.     

The NHS grant to the charity has remained static for the eighth successive year, a contribution that covers 14 per cent of overall costs.

Hospice@ Home, costing £2.2m for the first five years, is funded entirely by donors. Their generosity means the charity is well on the way to its fundraising target.   

Will said:"We must see how we can turn that into a sustainable financial model once that fundraising activity is finished. Things don't stay still - there'll be different needs and demands in the future and we need to be flexible enough as an organisation to recognise that and find ways in which we can meet that need and deliver those services.

"All the time we must raise funds from the community in order to support them, because without that support from the community we wouldn't be here."

Will Spinks and wife Jose are active in the Bollington community where they have lived for more than 30 years.

Will chairs two charitable trusts - Bollington Health and Leisure where he has long-standing links, and Bollington Initiative Trust which runs Tinkers Clough, Water Street School and Turner's Lodge.

Jose is a trustee of Bollington Festival,  a former chair of Bollington Arts Centre and a governor at King's School.

The couple have a daughter Anna and sons John and Peter, who sky dived to raise funds for East Cheshire Hospice.

Will's brother-in-law Tony has motor neurone disease. This personal experience further reminds Will of the value of Hospice @ Home.

Will said: "Tony can't move or speak  and needs help at home.  Without  support in a home setting he couldn't plan for end of life in a way that he would wish.

"The family can do some of that practically but if his wife  needs help in the middle of night  I would want her  to have help in the same way that a family in this area  would get through to the Hospice here. "