We Welcome New CEO, Gill Dickson
Despite leaving home over 35 years ago to start Registered General Nurse education in the south then Sick Children’s Nursing in London, there is nowhere in the geography of the British Isles that means more to me than North Northumberland and it is brilliant to be working back here – it’s a dream come true.
The years in between have seen me working for local authorities, NHS, and charities always in roles where there are barriers to people getting the care and support they need, finding policy solutions so that people can live well with disability or life-limiting conditions. This included five successful years in children’s palliative care where I edited the world's first Perinatal Palliative Care Pathway and headed up a social media campaign to get more nurses into hospice and palliative care services called; You Can Be That Nurse. This and my most recent work at PSPA (supporting people with progressive life-limiting neurological conditions), was about influencing decision-makers in government and the NHS/social care to get the best care pathways in place for people living with conditions and their family and carers.
I managed to fit in over ten years in University too, studying nursing, education, and finally in medical law and ethics – indeed ethics and human rights approach to healthcare remain a passion of mine to this day.
I will also be bringing some experience from the ‘engine rooms’ of charities and services – having been a planning manager in a learning disability service, an education Lead in a neurological care home, and also a public sector policy expert in data privacy (GDPR).
Living on the Border, I know the Berwick and Alnwick areas well. I am looking forward to delivering the strategy and as a whole staff group working together to offer high-quality palliative care, as a hospice without walls, to communities in North Northumberland. I am so proud to have been given the opportunity to lead the organisation into the future.
Thank you to Blackshaws, Alnwick
13th August 2021
Today is an extra special day because our nursing team took delivery of another brand new Suzuki Swift car loaned by Blackshaws HospiceCare North Northumberland is so grateful for Blackshaws ongoing support, which ensures that our nursing team can reach even the most rural parts of north Northumberland.
We welcome new Trustee, Paul Atkinson CBE
11th August 2021
Paul served in the RAF until 2018 and was stationed around the UK and the world during a varied career in air defence operations, leadership, training and strategy roles. On leaving the RAF, Paul was a charity director and now works for the Scottish Government on COVID-19 strategy. He lives with his wife in North Northumberland and has two grown-up daughters.
In addition to Hospicecare, Paul is also a trustee of a charity for young adults with learning disabilities and is a volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officer. He enjoys a variety of outdoor pursuits, including walking with his Border Terrier, Archie, as well as cricket, running, cycling, and skiing.
We welcome a new Trustee, Janet Kelly
22nd July 2021
Janet qualified as a State Registered Nurse in London and returned to the North East after 5 years. she worked in a number of nursing roles within the Community Nursing Services in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland and also served as an army reservist nursing officer with the rank of Captain. Janet was brought up in Northumberland and moved back to live in Alnwick 3 years ago with her husband Jonathan, after bringing up their 3 children in the Whitley Bay area.
Janet retired 2 years ago from her senior nursing role as Chief Matron for Community services at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Trust and returned to work part time at Alnwick Medical Group as Frailty Nurse Practitioner.
Away from work Janet enjoys walking, cycling and golf when time allows and loves to travel abroad and around the UK in her campervan with Jonathan!
We welcome Carrie Rochford to our clinical team
21st May 2021
Carrie Rochford joined us this month as our new Hospice at Home Lead. Carrie is a registered nurse (RGN) who will be the team lead for our RGN’s, Healthcare Assistants, and Support Workers. Her post will see her grow and develop the Hospice at Home service that we offer within North Northumberland. She has been a nurse for 12 years, 10 of which she spent serving in the Royal Air Force. Carrie really enjoys being outdoors and has recently taken up running as a hobby again.
McPherson Dance Studio, Berwick
19th May 2021
The McPherson Dance Studio based in Berwick took part in the 310,000 Steps Challenge event last month to raise funds for HospiceCare and two other charities. In total with the support of their Junior section, a team of parents, families and friends of The McPherson Dance Studio they raised an incredible £1,148.06, including Gift Aid, for HospiceCare North Northumberland who was nominated by a parent of a junior student saying “I wanted to raise money for HospiceCare because they cover the whole of this area and rely on donations to keep going, they were there for my mother in law ( as well as the whole family) in her final months and were nothing short of amazing”
Lianne McPherson owner of The McPherson Dance Studio said “I’m aware that the past year has been an incredibly difficult time for everyone and the impact on small charities has been significant. It was for that reason that our team of students, parents, friends and families of The McPherson Dance Studio decided to come together, challenge themselves, and raise as much money as possible for these three very worthwhile charities who will each benefit immensely from the money raised. The event was a great success with the youngest team member aged just 3 years old. In total we completed 5,368,396 steps and over 2,291 miles walked. One team member absolutely smashed it by completing double the target at 627,423 steps!! A huge well done to each and every one of our team! You are all amazing! We are blown away by the support and generosity of all of you who have donated. Thank you all!
The money raised for HospiceCare will contribute towards the delivery of over 45 hours of specialist Hospice at Home care and support. You can find out more information about this special fundraiser and make a donation retrospectively if you wish by please visit:
9th February 2021
Blackshaw's is one of HospiceCare's valued local business supporters.
As part of their support, each year they loan a new car to our clinical team to ensure they can get out in all weathers to deliver our specialist Hospice at Home care and support to families living in some of the most remote parts of North Northumberland. Here's our clinical lead, Nina Burnett, today who visited Blackshaw's to collect a brand new loan vehicle, a Suzuki Ignis AllGrip. Sue Blackshaw said" We're delighted to continue our support for the Hospice, particularly in these challenging times, and hope this new 4x4 is especially useful during the current snowy and icy weather. Drive safely."
Nina's Prestigious Award
We are super-proud of our clinical lead, Nina Burnett, who recently, upon completion of her palliative care degree, received a major award - The Jennifer Cole Award for her services to Palliative Care. Nina first heard about her Jennifer Cole award back in February last year (pre-covid). She was contacted by the lead tutor for palliative care at Northumbria University to inform her that she had been nominated for her contribution to palliative care. There was a delay in receiving her award due to the covid pandemic, so eventually, in November 2020 it was decided to hold the ceremony virtually. On receiving her award Nina said
“I was thrilled when I heard I was to receive this award – for my work to be recognised at what was such a challenging time for me, has made it feel all the more worthwhile. My hard work, passion, and dedication to improving palliative and end-of-life care have not gone unnoticed and I feel honoured that Northumbria University recognised that in me. It has made me even more determined to make whatever improvements I can for the community I am part of”
Please join us in wishing Nina (pictured above) huge congratulations on her award - one that's incredibly well deserved.