St Helens resident Sara, who has considerable experience within the NHS and voluntary sector, takes over the chairmanship from the outgoing chair Peter Kingston. Mr Weech was the Director of Strategy for West Sussex PCT and has spent spells teaching in China and Vietnam, as well as working in an orphanage in Peru.
Sara said she was delighted to be taking up a post at the head of an organisation that occupied such a special place at the heart of the community.
“We hear a lot about the fantastic work that goes on across the Island to support and raise funds for the Hospice – and rightly so because the passion and dedication of our supporters and volunteers is absolutely vital in helping us provide hospice services to Island people.
“It is important to remember that this passion and dedication is also shared by the clinicians at the Hospice whose expertise ensures that the standard of care provided is second to none and a management team that collectively has a huge amount of experience and expertise in the complex field of hospice and end of life care.
“I look forward to working with all those associated with the Hospice, including the many staff and volunteers who help make the Hospice’s work a success, to ensure we continue to occupy a special place at the heart of the Island community.”
Mr Kingston had been due to step down in October but has done so ahead of that date to enable a new chairman to work closely with Mrs Blackburn, whose contract has been extended by the Trustees, thereby maintaining a longer period of continuity.
Mr Kingston said:
“It has been an honour to have served as Chairman of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, which is so highly regarded by the people of the Island and by all who have had the benefit of the wonderful care that is provided by a very special group of people.
“I have no doubt that the generous support of Islanders on which we are so dependent will continue.”
Mrs Blackburn said:
“I am delighted to be working with Sara who in her time as a Trustee has already demonstrated considerable knowledge as well as an understanding of the Hospice and all its activities from fundraising through to the clinical side of the organisation.
“I look forward to working with her and with our wonderful group of staff, volunteers and supporters over the coming months”.