THE new chief executive of Bury Hospice has spoken of her hopes for the vital services she is now responsible for.

Helen Lockwood has officially taken the reins at the hospice, after recently leaving her previous post as deputy chief executive of Oldham Council.

And she has told the Bury Times of her ambitions for the much-loved hospice, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

Helen said: "“I am delighted to be joining Bury Hospice at such an exciting time as it celebrates 30 years of providing care and support for families across Bury.

"Having lived in Bury for most of my life I know the real difference the hospice makes to people at a time in their life when they need the support we provide the most.

"The needs of the patients and their families are at the heart of everything we do and our services are constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of our community.

"We are driven by our desire to be ‘In the Community, For the Community, About the Community’ … and for me that says it all.

"Bury Hospice is part of the fabric of Bury. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for our community who support us in so many ways, whether that is financial support or donating their time."

She also paid tribute to their volunteer network, which is nearly 500-strong, and the staff of 70-plus for their dedication.

Helen added: "We have some incredibly exciting plans ahead. We aspire for our new Living Well Centre to be a community Hub where people who need support, whether that is medical, emotional or social, turn to.

"I am really looking forward to getting out and about and connecting with people right across Bury to make sure that we continue to provide the right care at the right time.”

Stuart Page, hospice trustees chairman, said: "Helen is incredibly well respected across Greater Manchester and her extensive connections and influence across the health and social care sector will prove invaluable as we continue to mould our strategic direction, playing a key role within palliative and end of life care in Bury.