Bluebell Wood’s head of fundraising Samantha Wood brings a wealth of experience to her role at the North Anston children’s hospice.

Sam has successfully grown income and developed fundraising events at seven hospices across the region.

She is a former Head of Fundraising and Communications at Rotherham Hospice and describes the level of public support she witnessed during her two years from 2016-18 with the town’s respite and end of life care specialist as ‘overwhelming’.

Said Sam: “I have also witnessed amazing loyalty and support at every hospice I have worked for, but Rotherham’s passion for its hospice was incredible to witness. 

“I am now seeing that same depth of emotion for Bluebell Wood. It is loved and respected right across South Yorkshire, North Notts, North Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire for the unique care and support it provides to children and their families.

“I am proud and excited to be in a position to promote its work, strengthen long-term relationships, develop new ones and grow our fundraising income.”

Sam realised the hospice movement was her true vocation as an events management student at the University of Huddersfield.

Searching for a year-long student placement in an events role, she ended up at Overgate hospice in Halifax.

She explained: “Initially I wasn’t sure what a hospice was. But after discovering what an important role these organisations play, and how important fundraising was to them, I knew where my career path would take me.

“It genuinely means the world to me to be able to do my job in the knowledge that it is helping families to cope with very difficult life situations.”

Sam, who lives in Cusworth with her partner Dan and their first child Freddie, nine months, has also worked for the Forget-Me-Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield as a senior community fundraiser.

She commented: “Care requirements are more complex and varied at a children’s hospice and there is often an opportunity to work alongside families, which I find both very rewarding and humbling.

“Becoming a parent has rooted me even more to the cause and I feel honoured to support a well-recognised children’s charity in the area where I live.” 

Fundraising and event management are practically second-nature to Sam.

She grew up in Gawthorpe, West Yorkshire, home of the World Coal Carrying Championships.

Generations of her family have been involved in the annual event and at the age of 19, Sam became the race organiser. She grew its popularity, getting it  national media coverage and taking entry figures to over 100.

Away from work, Sam enjoys hiking and setting herself physical challenges. She has climbed 14,000 feet to the peak of Mount Toubkal in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains and sky-dived from the same height in Australia to raise £1,000 for Wakefield Hospice.