New Chair of Trustees appointed

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice has appointed Kath Henderson as its new Chair of Trustees.

Kath, of North Anston, is a healthcare professional with an extensive nursing background spanning almost 38 years. She has been a Bluebell Wood Trustee since 2010 and following a long career in the NHS, now works as an independent consultant.

Of her appointment, which was made at the charity’s AGM yesterday, she said: “I am really pleased to become Chair and I am really looking forward to driving the strategic focus of the charity. As a clinician who has worked with children and young adults throughout my career and with my experience at board level, I feel I have a lot of expertise to offer.

“I live close to the hospice and Bluebell Wood is a vital, well-respected charity which provides essential services for children and families in our region. The combination of my skill set and local knowledge means that I am really passionate about the charity and ensuring it is fit for any future challenges.

“As a Trustee, you are a volunteer and I enjoy the accountability of the role. All of our trustees bring a mix of vital skill sets to the board and are a dedicated team of experts in their fields.”

Kath takes the position from John Holt, who been a Trustee since fundraising began for the hospice more than 13 years ago. He has been the Chair of the Board since 2009.

John said he had very much enjoyed his time with Bluebell Wood. He has many memorable moments from his time with the charity, including when the first outreach care in the community took place, seeing the building process begin and welcoming the Countess of Wessex for the Royal opening.

John added: “Bluebell Wood is in a strong position due to the commitment of its volunteers and the part played by the community. I am delighted that the Board is stronger than ever and that the organisation is led by a highly professional Senior Management Team. Both are well equipped to take Bluebell Wood onto the next level.

“Whilst I will really miss my involvement with the hospice, it will never be far from my thoughts.”

Kath’s focus initially will be to really immerse herself in the hospice’s work. She plans to build up further relationships with commissioners and focus on best practice. “Being the Chair of the Board is thinking beyond the ‘here and now’, it’s about ensuring we are fit for the future and that we are responsive to everyone’s needs,” explains Kath.

“But at the heart of absolutely every decision we make is the children and families we support – they are our core purpose and we are all passionate about the work we do here.”

Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice supports children with life-limiting and life-shortening conditions, and their families. The charity cares for children across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire.

It takes £3m a year to keep the hospice’s doors open, which cares for about 200 children and families both in the hospice and communities.

Claire Rintoul, Chief Executive of Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, said: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank John for his time as a Trustee and Chair of Bluebell Wood. I wish him all the best in his new, exciting adventure.

“I have enjoyed working with Kath during her existing time on the board and look forward to seeing her develop in her new role as Chair. She and the whole Board of Trustees are really focused on driving us forward as a charity in order to continue providing the very best care and support for children and families who depend on our services. They will, at times, be faced with challenging decisions but they are fully equipped with a wide range of expertise to do this.”

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