Dr Brian Herd
In 1986, local GP Dr Brian Herd took a period of prolonged study leave. The objectives were to study the new subject of hospice care, and to try to devise a suitable version for West Cumbria. The late Macmillan Nurse, Margaret Dowling, and her nursing colleagues, were also considering what form a hospice for West Cumbria should take. They soon joined forces…
It was clear that the existing pattern of hospice care, centred on a nursing home type of building, would not be suitable for this large area with its widely scattered population. Moreover most patients and their carers longed to receive care in their own homes rather than in unfamiliar surroundings.
The hospice at home model that was devised created a hospice in the patient’s home. It was a pioneering venture. It was the first hospice of any kind in Cumbria. As far as we know, Hospice at Home West Cumbria was the first to provide full hospice care in the home in the UK. Brian Herd was its founding Chairman and Hon Medical Adviser. Since 2016, he has been its President. Following his retirement from General Practice, Brian became a professional actor. He is known in his acting life by his first name, Edmund.
Mrs Mary Todd
Mary has been part of Hospice at Home West Cumbria since being invited to join us as legal adviser at the very beginning of our story. During her long career as a solicitor, based in Whitehaven, she gave us her professional expertise and support, becoming a Trustee in 1996 when she retired. In 2012 Mary became a vice president and remains a really committed supporter – we are still her favourite charity. Here she tells her own story of how Hospice came to mean so much to her.
“In 1975, my husband John and I experienced personally the need for home nursing care in the community for patients with terminal illnesses wishing to be nursed at home. At that time, John’s Mother was dying from terminal cancer (in her own home) and as we were both working full-time and also had other family commitments, we were finding it difficult. No nursing help was available locally but at the very end, we were able to employ the help of an SEN from a Liverpool agency. We were fortunate to afford such care and were very aware of the many families who could not!
Over the years that followed, I discovered clients and friends trying to cope with the same problems so in early 1987, when I was invited to become legal adviser to the group forming what was to become Hospice At Home, I leapt at the chance. When I met Brian Herd, Margaret Dowling and the group in 1987 I was intrigued and inspired by their vision. That was just the beginning”
Dr Robert Walker
Rob was Chair of the Board from 2013. He became Vice President in 2019.
Rob is a retired GP who initially practiced in Workington for 17 years, then became PCT Medical Director for Primary Care in Cumbria, returning to general practice in 2005.
He has extensive management and strategic planning experience and is a former member of a NICE guidelines working group, as well as being an appraiser and examiner. He lives in Workington with his wife Anne.
Baroness Hayman of Ullock (Sue Hayman)
Sue was invited to join us as Vice President in 2022 with her appointment being confirmed at the Annual General Meeting on 6th October 2022.
Sue Hayman is a Shadow Minister on Housing, Communities and Local Government and on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the House of Lords. She was Member of Parliament for Workington from 2015 to 2019, and served as Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs from 2017 to 2019.
A former Cumbria County councillor, Sue lives with her husband on a smallholding in rural West Cumbria. She has a deep understanding of the area and works closely with environmental bodies, charities and campaign groups.
Sue enjoys theatre, singing in the Parliament Choir and walking her dog, Max on the fells.
Mr Richard Stout
Richard has been associated with the charity since its inception and is a major community fundraiser. We were delighted when stepping down from his position of Vice Chair, following his long involvement as part of our board, he accepted the invitation to become Honorary Vice President at our AGM in October 2018.
Richard was apprenticed and worked in the motor trade in Northern England then owned and ran the filling station and garage at St Bees until his retirement in 2008. Richard lives with his wife in St Bees.
He has made a personal commitment that each day he will speak to one new person about Hospice at Home West Cumbria.
Mr Gary McKee
Gary, 53, who lives in Cleator Moor with his family, has become a Vice President for Hospice at Home West Cumbria from April, 2023.
Affectionately known nationwide as ‘Marathon Man’, Gary has recently completed a year long fundraising challenge, running 365 consecutive marathons throughout 2022. He raised £1.2million pounds, splitting the total between Hospice at Home West Cumbria and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Gary said: “It is a huge honour to be considered, never mind being given the title of Vice President of a charity that in West Cumbria, is massive to everybody. I have won lots of awards in the past and I don’t do what I do to gain awards, but it is probably one of the most prestigious things I have been offered. It really means something to you when people come up and say: ‘well done, the charity really helped my husband/ wife/ child’ whatever it might be. That’s what it means to them so the association with Hospice at Home West Cumbria is something that will live with me forever. I hope that I can continue to do the things that I do and signpost to the charity for many years to come.”
Joanne Bowe (2014)
Following on from the role of Trustee for nine years; we are delighted to announce that Joanne Bowe, has accepted the position of Vice President for Hospice at Home West Cumbria from October, 2023. Joanne is an HR professional who has retired and has over 35 years’ experience from within the nuclear industry. Her particular skills and experience cover HR, Shared Business Services and People Management. Joanne lives in Cockermouth.