You can trust in our Trustees

  • 24 June 2020

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Trustees at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity

At Arthur Rank Hospice Charity are very privileged to have an amazing team of trustees who play a vital role in what make us outstanding. 

We asked them to tell us about their experiences and their motivations for being a trustee at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and they kindly obliged: 

Chair of trustees, Kate Kirk

Kate Kirk

1. When did you become a trustee at the Hospice and how did it come about? 

I became a trustee at the Hospice in 2010. Before then, I volunteered on the tea bar in the old Hospice and then in the Mill Road charity shop. The trustee board was being expanded, and they advertised for a trustee from among the volunteers. I was lucky enough to be invited for interview and was thrilled to get the letter inviting me to join the trustees.

2. Each of our Trustees have their own specialisms. What is yours and what are the things you are most likely to influence or have impact on, within your role on the board?

I come from a communications background. I have worked as an editor, writer, and public relations specialist for a number of organisations, including WHO and the Asian Development Bank when I lived in the Philippines. As the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity delivers its services, we are often conveying important information at a very difficult time. So I’m keen to help make sure that we communicate in the right way at the right moment, and that nothing gets lost in translation.

3. What have you been most surprised to discover since becoming a trustee?

The Hospice is like a tardis! We have this amazing building where expert and compassionate care is delivered 24/7, but we are so much bigger than that, and it took me a while to realise just how many ways we reach out to our community across Cambridgeshire and provide different types of care. Day Therapy, the Specialist Palliative Care Home Team, Hospice at Home, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre, Arthur’s Shed – the list goes on. All these services help us to support many more people than you see in the Hospice itself.

4. What would you say to others who would like to get involved and support the Hospice? 

Do it! And don’t worry that you’re only doing a ‘small’ thing. Nothing is small – the Hospice really is greater than the sum of its parts, which is why there are so many different roles for volunteers.

5. Anything else you’d like to add?

My aunt, Cicely Saunders, who founded the modern hospice movement, was an amazing and tireless communicator. She was incredibly good at listening to her patients and turning their feelings and needs into practices that transformed the care of those with life-limiting illnesses. She demonstrated how important it is to listen and understand, and I’m doing my best to follow her example.


Deputy Chair of trustees, John Short

John Short

1. When did you become a trustee at the Hospice and how did it come about?

I retired from legal practice in 2013 and was approached about becoming a trustee of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity as an existing legally qualified trustee had just stood down. I was impressed by the work of the Hospice and the plans for its future. I was formally appointed a trustee in December 2013.

2. Each of our Trustees have their own specialisms. What is yours and what are the things you are most likely to influence or have impact on, within your role on the board? 

As a legal specialist I have taken a particular responsibility for governance issues. So for example working with the charity’s law firm we rewrote the constitution. I also review a number of the charity’s policy documents covering such things as whistle blowing and staff handbook. I am also trustee lead on safeguarding of vulnerable adults and issues around mental capacity.

3. What have you been most surprised to discover since becoming a trustee?

The number of wonderful volunteers that our organisation has ( more than 600 ). We simply could not function without them.

4. What would you say to others who would like to get involved and support the Hospice? 

Please do. It is a wonderfully supportive environment and you will have fun and fulfilment whilst making a contribution to a terrific charity.


Dr Alex Manning 

Alex Manning 

1. When did you become a trustee at the Hospice and how did it come about? 

I have been a trustee since 1st June 2011. I was first approached by the then Medical Director of the Hospice Dr Margaret Saunders who asked me if I might be interested in joining the trustee board. I had met her at a few medical meetings and I think that she could see that I had a particular interest palliative care.

In addition to my primary role as a GP partner in Burwell Surgery, I have always done on call in the evenings and weekends for the GP out of hours service. Whilst I think it is fair to say that we have become better organised in recent years – when I first did this work I often found myself dealing with difficult palliative care situations in the community. At the time I felt that there was much that could be done to prepare better and improve the co-ordination of the services that we have to support patients and their families in these very challenging circumstances.

2. Each of our Trustees have their own specialisms. What is yours and what are the things you are most likely to influence or have impact on, within your role on the board? 

I have been working as a local GP for 19 years.

In addition to this I have spent 3 years on the Governing Body of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group(CCG) – a similar role to a trustee but supporting decision making of the body that has financial responsibility of NHS services in Cambridgeshire.

I still chair a group which has responsibility for determining individual and exceptional funding arrangements within the local NHS system.

I still have many contacts within the local NHS system and also have worked with or know many local GP’s. I hope therefore to be in a good position to support the evolving role that the Hospice is developing in leading developments of palliative care services across the county.

I am also interested in the interface between the services that the Hospice provides and the other NHS primary care services.

In recent years I have been fortunate to work closely with many of the excellent clinicians at the Hospice as part of my role as Chair of the Clinical Governance committee. We have overall responsibility for ensuring the highest quality standards in the many services that the Hospice provides – from inpatient care, to community and day therapy services, lymphoedema, the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre based services in Wisbech, education and research. We try to be a ‘critical friend’ and provide some external challenge for clinicians at the Hospice.

3. What have you been most surprised to discover since becoming a trustee?

Working for a Charity feels very different to working for a (largely) tax funded NHS. So much time and energy has to put into raising funds to provide core hospice services. Particularly the Hospice at Home service – which is so essential for many of my patients who are nearing the ends of their lives at home –  which is largely funded by the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. Every pound raised for this service is critical and it seems amazing to me that there is not core NHS funding for the vast majority of the Hospice at Home service.

4. What would you say to others who would like to get involved and support the Hospice? 

The staff at the Hospice are a very professional and friendly group to work with. I think however that the work of the Hospice would have more impact if there was closer working with more colleagues in the clinical community. Most of us in the NHS struggle with workload and find the thought of additional time commitment/responsibility difficult. However I think that working closely with the Hospice is one of the best ways to fix issues that we all know are there – particularly in rural areas and particularly when different services do not link well together. Working with the Hospice does not need to take much time up and can often be done flexibly. If you are interested please contact Fran Gibbons on fran.gibbons@arhc.org.uk or please try and be sympathetic if we ask for your help!

5. Anything else you’d like to add? 

I have enjoyed my time as a trustee and learnt a lot from doing so. I have also appreciated being able to ‘phone a friend’ in the Hospice to discuss clinical issues and being more familiar with the folk on the other end of the phone.

I have started to support some of the Hospice fund raising efforts – running the Cambridge Half Marathon for the Hospice for the third time in 2020 and marshalling and participating in some of the other events.

I hope to be able to do more of this as time goes by.


Mark Kingstone

Mark Kingstone

1. When did you become a trustee at the Hospice and how did it come about?

I became a trustee in June 2019. My father-in-law was an in-patient at St Helena Hospice in Colchester for a short time in 2008 and, more recently, my mother spent her last few days in a very similar hospice to Arthur Rank Hospice in Worthing in October 2017 (St Barnabas). When the opportunity arose to apply to become a trustee of Arthur Rank Hospice I jumped at the chance as I wanted to contribute to the hospice system which provided such skilled, dedicated and compassionate support to both my mother and the family.

2. Each of our Trustees have their own specialisms. What is yours and what are the things you are most likely to influence or have impact on, within your role on the board?

I have been a solicitor in a London law firm for 30+ years. As well as providing advice to clients I have had several management roles within the firm, including sitting on the committee that runs our London office.

As a result, I have developed a range of experience covering business strategy, financial performance, human resources and premises management, all of which will, I believe, ensure I make a positive contribution to the board. In particular, I appreciate the importance of understanding the background to decisions we need to make and listening to and appreciating the views of others so as to be able to come to a consensus view.

I enjoy working as part of a team, doing my best as an active team member to ensure the success of whatever we are working on which is very much the approach I am taking in my role as trustee.

For around one year I was co-head of our Private Client and Trusts group. I therefore have an appreciation of some of the issues that trusts give rise to and understand the roles and responsibilities of trustees, and the importance of ensuring that they are met.

3. What have you been most surprised to discover since becoming a trustee?

I had not fully appreciated the wide range of high-quality services provided by the hospice and the extent to which they make a real difference to the lives of patients, their families and carers. Nor had I fully grasped the magnitude of the fund raising efforts required and the willingness and extraordinary generosity of the many people who contribute in one way or another to raising funds for the Hospice.

4. What would you say to others who would like to get involved and support the Hospice?

Do so! It is enormously fulfilling and you will be joining a wonderful and dedicated team of compassionate and hard-working staff, volunteers and fund raisers, all in aid of a very worthwhile cause.


Mehrunisha Suleman

Mehrunisha Suleman

1. When did you become a trustee at the Hospice and how did it come about? 

 I joined Arthur Rank Hospice as a trustee in March 2020. The Hospice’s work has been central in enabling me to research successful models of care delivery and outreach for my post doctoral position at the University of Cambridge. The research focuses on “Muslim perspectives on End of Life Care” where the findings highlight the values that underlie meaning making at the end of life as well as the types of barriers and challenges patients and families may encounter when trying to access effective services. The Hospice’s recent work in engaging the wider Cambridge community, mosque Imam, community leaders and other key stakeholders has been a privilege to be a part of and is an exemplary model of co-working with key faith and community groups.

2. Each of our Trustees have their own specialisms. What is yours and what are the things you are most likely to influence or have impact on, within your role on the board?

 As a clinically trained Bioethicist and Public Health Researcher, I am keenly aware of the importance of good palliative care for people who need it most. My research focuses on understanding why some groups face challenges when accessing palliative care services and how our current models of care delivery can be adapted to suit different needs.

I am working with excellent colleagues at the Hospice to think systematically about how we can ensure our services are recognised, understood and accessible to everyone and especially those whose palliative care needs are not currently being met.

3. How has your role changed since Covid19?

As a recently appointed trustee, I have been learning rapidly about the scope of the Hospice’s excellent services and outreach work. My role began at the start of the pandemic and as such hasn’t changed, however, has involved novel ways of working, for example, through virtual conference calls and emails. I am hoping, once it is safe for us to do so, to be able to meet the team in person and be a part of the vibrancy and collegiality of the Hospice Team J

4. What have you been most surprised to discover since becoming a trustee?

Although I was familiar with the core activities of the Hospice in terms of on site care, I have been learning rapidly about the scale of services offered out in the community and how this has been adapted dramatically and successfully to meet needs since the onset of the pandemic. Having done work on organisational cultures and structures, I had been aware that changing services and ways of working can often take years. Despite the enormous challenges the pandemic has presented, the Hospice Teams have not only adapted but are managing to reach people with unmet needs. The current situation teaches me that difficult times such as these also present opportunities to find novel ways of working that may inadvertently help us reach those who need our services most.

5. What would you say to others who would like to get involved and support the Hospice?

Joining the Hospice has been a privilege and I have been learning from the executive, volunteers and other trustees from the get go! I thoroughly recommend getting involved in whatever capacity you can.

6. Anything else you’d like to add?

I have been learning about the ever-growing volunteer community that is a part of the Hospice, some of whom I had the privilege of speaking to recently at the ‘Thanking Day’. Their contributions span across the work and services of the Hospice and make it a welcoming and vibrant environment for work and care. Their commitment represents the ethos of the hospice and the teams who provide services, which is that it is a privilege to be a part of the care of those at the end of life their life and to ensure we can improve their quality of life and fulfil their end of their life choices.


Rosy Stamp

Rosy Stamp

1.When did you become a trustee at the Hospice and how did it come about? 

I was invited to be interviewed as a Trustee at ARH in 2013 when I left my job as CEO of St Helena Hospice in North Essex, where I had been CEO for 11 years. I leapt at the opportunity feeling that it might be a way of using some of my knowledge and experience to continue to contribute to palliative care and I was delighted to be appointed.

2. Each of our Trustees have their own specialisms. What is yours and what are the things you are most likely to influence or have impact on, within your role on the board?

I was able to take part on the Building Subcommittee when the new build was planned, using my experience of building programmes at St Helena. I am now on Clinical Governance, and Remuneration and Nomination Committee, which I chair and am also a member of the Equality and Diversity Committee, as I am part of a mixed heritage family.

I had an understanding of the different roles of Trustees and the Executive Team, having worked with the Board at St Helena and also been on the University of Essex Council.

I feel I am in a good position to understand the financial and clinical pressures on the organisation, having myself dealt with the same issues of compliance, quality and constant fundraising.

I understand the pressures of working in a hospice, especially those on the CEO and I also look back on my time as a hospice CEO with great pride. I have been a volunteer in various organisations and roles throughout my adult life and I have found volunteering to be tremendously enriching personally and also that it builds skills and experience which are useful in many working environments and roles.

3. What would you say to others who would like to get involved and support the Hospice?

It is a huge privilege to contribute in whatever role to Arthur Rank Hospice and I strongly recommend it as a working environment, both as a volunteer and in a professional role.’

If you are interested in knowing more about becoming a Trustee or an Ambassador for Arthur Rank Hospice please contact us