In the second part of our look behind the scenes at the trustees of Bury Hospice, we find out about some of the very personal reasons people have become involved and put themselves forward to take the much-loved organisation forward

Noreen Kershaw

Former actress-turned-TV director Noreen Kershaw has been a trustee for three years and became involved after her father was admitted to the in-patient unit at the former Dumers Lane site.

She said: “I was working on Coronation Street at the time and I realised how much the hospice helped the family as well as the patient – even extended to the family.

“Before that, my dad had been in hospital and it was very hard for the over-worked NHS to deal with someone nearing the end of their life.

“I really wanted to get him in Bury Hospice and our doctor was fantastic.

“Dad was here and just the change in the care – not only for dad, but for my brother and I too, was immense.

“You come into the building and they wrap their arms around you as a family.

“It’s amazing – my dad had everything he could want whilst he was in here and it made for a peaceful passing.

“When everything settled, I wanted to try and give something back which is when I became a volunteer.

“I had been scared to come into the hospice before because we had no idea of what hospices did and what they meant – I thought they would be sad and sombre places.

“But that couldn’t be further from the truth and the nursing staff and volunteers are angels on earth.”

“I became a volunteer while directing Coronation Street and then became a trustee because I wanted to make sure that as many families could benefit from the care and love that we had got.”

Deborah Lisle

Deborah Lisle became involved with the hospice after the death of her husband John in October 2015.

“The family were overwhelmed by the care and support they received from the hospice and Deborah has made it her mission to help in any way she can.

“As well as being a trustee, she is a volunteer and organises the annual Strictly Best Foot Forward event.

She said: “As a family, we will always remember what they did for John and for us. I am on a mission to do all I can to raise money for the hospice and raise awareness.

“I have a passion to make as much money for the hospice as I can and to help in any way I can.

“It is an absolutely vital service and no family in Bury should have to deal with a crisis situation at home when they could come here. It is about providing dignity which everyone needs.

“This is the best in Bury we can offer, but we need everyone in the town to support us because Bury is a big area – we have six townships and only eight beds.”

Donna McNicoll

Donna has been a trustee for three years and her experience as a headteacher in nearby Rossendale is invaluable in supporting hospice governance.

She felt compelled to ‘give back’ having experienced the love and care at Bury Hospice when her mum was being cared for.

As headteacher of St Mary’s Primary School in Haslingden, Donna is passionate about dispelling the myths surrounding hospices, especially among younger audiences.

Donna is driven in providing the best possible experience for her school.

The recent accolade of St Mary’s bring ranked as the 14th best state primary school in the country by The Sunday Times Parent Power Guide 2020 is testament to that.

“Before I stepped foot in a hospice I really had no idea how friendly, welcoming and homely they are, and that is especially true of Bury Hospice,” she said.

“My mission now is to involve younger people with Bury Hospice by bringing them in to meet the people here and see the fantastic work that goes on.

“We have assemblies with hospice staff and have recently run a thank-you card competition which resulted in a celebration at the hospice.

“Bury Hospice is an invaluable asset to the community of Bury, and being a trustee allows me to have a voice in making sure that we continue to keep developing to meet the ever-increasing needs of the families we care for.”