New trustees join Chesterfield's Ashgate Hospicecare
Ashgate Hospicecare in Chesterfield has appointed two new trustees, after their own friends and relatives were personally supported by charities in their final days.
Kirsty McMillan, who is the director of integration and direct services for Derby City Council, joins the hospice following her own experience of the charity caring for her mum in her final months.
While Dermot Toberty, former director of one of the largest HR shared service centres in Europe, also has a personal experience with witnessing first-hand the difference hospices make to people’s lives when a close friend was supported by a charity similar to Ashgate in 2019.
The two new trustees will help to shape the Chesterfield charity’s strategy, as they plan for the future needs of their local community and patients.
It comes after Ashgate Hospicecare announced they have lost more than £3 million in revenue since the start of the pandemic.
Kirsty is also an active member of the local NHS and social care system, known as Joined Up Care Derbyshire.
She previously worked as a chief officer within local government, as well as operationally within the housing association, which supported the housing and homelessness sectors.
Kirsty said: “Having supported my own mother to live her final months in a way that she wanted, even though this was not conventional and at times tested the local palliative care team, I saw first-hand that as far as she was able, she died her way and in control of even the smallest decisions right up until her last few days.
“This was incredibly powerful to see and reminded me that individuals can have amazing strength in character, even at the most testing times in their lives.
"I am a passionate advocate for the ethos and values of the hospice sector, and Ashgate embodies this and more!
“I hope to be able to raise the profile of the contribution that Ashgate and palliative care can make to people’s lives.”
Dermot trained as an accountant while living up in the North East and then moved to Chesterfield with his wife and two daughters in 1988 to work for Royal Mail.
In 2003 he set up and ran the largest HR shared service centre in Europe until he retired in 2017.
Dermot added: “In 2019, a very close friend was diagnosed with a terminal illness and she began to receive her end-of-life care from Bolton Hospice.
“Seeing and hearing about the care she received in her final few months was truly wonderful.
"Knowing that she was being well cared for in a lovely environment made the whole experience of her passing a lot more bearable.
“Later, when I heard about the funding issues at Ashgate, and coming from a financial background, I was keen to get involved.”
Nicholas Jeffrey, chair of the board at Ashgate Hospicecare commented: “I am absolutely delighted to welcome Kirsty and Dermot as new Trustees to Ashgate.
"They bring with them a wealth of expertise, as well as compassion and a shared vision for a society where everyone can die with dignity and comfort.
“I am really looking forward to working with them as we shape our future services, which includes plans for how we cope with rising demand and more complex patient needs as people live longer with more complicated conditions.”