Call our 24/7 advice line for health care professionals and families if you need support with symptom management and end of life care - 01284 766133.
“Vital to the success of the Hospice.”
As former chief executive of the West Suffolk Health Authority, John was a keen supporter of the Hospice from its early days, and was instrumental in making available the site at the rear of West Suffolk Hospital.
Remembering back to that time, Bob Jones, a former Hospice CEO, recalls that John had very much taken the Hospice ‘under his wing’: “I think if it hadn’t been for him, it wouldn’t have made the progress that it did. He was the person who managed to get the site here (Hardwick Lane) and donated it to the Hospice.
“I think, over the years, he was somebody who was actually very important but probably not as well-known as some other people but vital to the success of the Hospice.”
“I’m only going to do it for a year until the charity finds somebody better.”
John became the Hospice’s Chairman in July 1996 following the death of Lady Miriam Hubbard earlier that year. In an edition of the St Nicholas’ Hospice News, he wrote: “I do not envisage myself doing the job in the long-term, and we will be looking for a successor over the next few months. We need to find someone who can aspire to the standards set by Lady Miriam.”
For the four years before that, John served as the charity’s vice-chairman, during which time he provided invaluable support to his predecessor, Lady Miriam.
Bob remembers: “At the time, he said, ‘I’m only going to do it (be chairman) for a year until the charity finds somebody better.’ But then he continued for a long time. And he was never a flashy showman, but he knew how organisations ticked and had a really wide range of contacts, which was very useful.”
John didn’t step down until the end of January 2005, some nine years later, and even then, he still continued to serve as a Trustee.
“He has had a great influence over the way our services have grown and developed.”
Writing in the Hospice’s newsletter, Bob stated: “We have been very much an ‘item’ working as we have together for over the last 20 years both in the NHS and Hospice.
“He (John) has had a great influence over the way our services have grown and developed. Without his wise counsel and light touch on the tiller, the Hospice would not be the dynamic organisation it is today. We all owe him a deep debt of gratitude.”
Do you have a story about your connection with St Nicholas Hospice Care?
In our 40th year celebration, we want to highlight the many contributions in our Hospice’s history.
We’re aiming to proudly feature 40 faces across the year, could you be someone who has a story to share?
If you are someone who has a fond memory to share, you can do so here.