Widen­ing our vir­tu­ous cir­cle

Macclesfield Express - - EAST CHESHIRE HOSPICE -

●● ROB Bar­row has been re­flect­ing on his first year in of­fice as Chair of Trustees at East Cheshire Hospice.

He said great progress has been made in the year, but the char­ity is still too fo­cused on Mac­cles­field, miss­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties and en­gage­ment in the other parts of Cheshire it also serves.

Rob said: “We’ve come a long way and I’ve been hum­bled and amazed by the gen­eros­ity of all our sup­port­ers, es­pe­cially our vol­un­teers who are hugely sup­port­ive.

“We weren’t as en­gaged with some of our key sup­port­ers as per­haps we ought to have been but we’ve been ac­tively rec­ti­fy­ing that and have also ap­pointed some new vice pres­i­dents and a new pres­i­dent who is very ac­tive in the com­mu­nity that we serve, in LordLieu­tenant David Briggs MBE KStJ.

“Our vice pres­i­dents are by-and-large still in the busi­ness com­mu­nity and they’re out and about ev­ery day get­ting out the mes­sage. That means we can ex­tend our reach via their net­works and we’ve moved a very long way in­deed on that score.

“The one sur­prise I did get was that East Cheshire Hospice seems to be very Mac­cles­field cen­tric.

“Our ge­og­ra­phy means that our catch­ment area stretches south of Con­gle­ton, right across the High Peak, way out past Knutsford on the other side and through Poyn­ton and Bramhall.

“But if you look at where our fi­nan­cial sup­port and vol­un­teers come from, it’s very Mac­cles­field cen­tric.

“One point of view is that’s a great core of sup­port in Mac­cles­field but the other side of the coin is we’ve got a job of work to do to go out and en­gage with the pe­riph­ery and get the un­der­stand­ing out that we need to raise over 80 per­cent of our in­come from the com­mu­ni­ties that we serve.

“We’ve started to get out there and en­gage with, for ex­am­ple, the Con­gle­ton com­mu­nity and let them know we’re their hospice and we need their sup­port.

“They don’t know that right now and we need to build up our vis­i­bil­ity, sup­port and in­come.

“What’s re­ally help­ful for us is the Christ­mas tree col­lec­tion op­er­a­tion be­cause that helps get our brand out into su­per­mar­kets and on the streets.

“We’re also hold­ing an­nual road shows, an open day and fo­rum, to tell peo­ple about the hospice.

“We’ve al­ready been to a school in Con­gle­ton where peo­ple went along to find out about clin­i­cal mat­ters, fundrais­ing and vol­un­teer­ing etc and this is a great way to es­tab­lish a stronger pres­ence in those ar­eas.

“We’ve also got a sin­gle team at the hospice where ev­ery­one un­der­stands their role and all are in a to­tally pos­i­tive frame of mind, all point­ing in the same di­rec­tion.

“What’s been brought home to me is that the char­ity world is no dif­fer­ent to the busi­ness world and you’ve got to have a team fo­cused on what­ever you’re do­ing, whether it’s bring­ing the money in or de­liv­er­ing the ser­vices and all sup­port­ing each other in a pos­i­tive way, cre­at­ing that all im­por­tant vir­tu­ous cir­cle.”

●● Rob Bar­row, Chair of Trustees

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