ASHGATE Hospice’s promising new chief executive Lucy Nickson is looking forward to taking the reins of one of the region’s most popular charities during its 25th anniversary year.
Ms Nickson, who has praised the Derbyshire Times £25,000 Ashgate Hospice Appeal, is continuing to work with retiring chief executive Kathy Hollyer until the end of March when she takes over and hopes to expand on the charity’s success as it continues caring for seriously ill people and their families during the next 25 years and beyond.
She said: “It’s a privilege to be picking up the reins of an organisation which has already built up a such wonderful legacy. It’s well established with a team of incredibly, dedicated people and we can look forward to the next 25 years with optimism.
“I’m passionate about supporting people with life-limiting illnesses and I was drawn to this job because I wanted the chance to use my experience and skills in a more strategic role.
“The hospice has put itself in a brilliant position and there is a great opportunity to build on that which is a very exciting challenge.”
Ms Nickson, 41, of north Derbyshire, has worked in the health service and is a clinician and registered nurse who started her career at Weston Park Hospital, in Sheffield, looking after palliative care patients and she came to the Chesterfield-based hospice after working as chief executive at Bakewell-based charity Helen’s Trust which helps seriously ill people through their final days.
She added: “This is a very successful charity but every year it has to fight for funds and that is going to be a huge challenge. But there is clearly incredible local support and there is an obvious commitment across the community with individuals, businesses and volunteers.
“I will also be working to make sure we align ourselves with other health organisations such as Chesterfield Royal Hospital and the Derbyshire Community Health Trust.”
Mum-of-two Ms Nickson has been amazed by the efforts of fundraisers during the hospice’s many annual events and she is looking forward to working with the Derbyshire Times during the paper’s on-going Ashgate Hospice Appeal to mark the charity’s 25th anniversary.
The newspaper’s appeal has so far helped raise about £4,000 in donations and pledges for the hospice on Ashgate Road, Brampton, from fundraisers and events including the DT’s charity ale, pub fun nights and sporting challenges.
Ms Nickson added: “The newspaper is a fundamental part of the community and we’re extremely grateful for its continued support and to have this appeal during our anniversary is very important.”
Retiring chief executive Kathy Hollyer is due to retire after ten years at the hospice overseeing the development of a new extension and providing wider community support. Under her guidance, the hospice has been weathered Government Spending Review cuts, statutory income cuts, proposed NHS changes and financial restraints to meet annual running costs of about £5m.
She said: “Lucy has a great background and is highly qualified for this post. We all wish her well for the future.”
Those backing the DT’s hospice appeal with donations or fundraising proceeds can contact Jon Cooper on (01246) 504524 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for publicity in the paper. Donations can also be made at www.justgiving.com/DerbyshireTimes1 or by cheques payable to The Derbyshire Times Ashgate Hospice Appeal which can be posted to the hospice.