A retired banker who leads a high tech enterprise zone in Cheshire is joining Chester’s hospice.
The Backford-based Hospice of the Good Shepherd has announced that Robert Mee is to be the new chairman of its board of trustees.
The trustees are the organisation’s governing body and under charity law have overall corporate responsibility for the hospice.
Mr Mee is said to have had an extensive career in banking and financial services and has held a number of senior board positions within finance.
Since his retirement in 2009 he has undertaken several voluntary roles and is currently a board member of the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and chairman of the Cheshire Science Corridor Enterprise Zone.
His appointment will bring ‘a wealth of commercial experience’ to the hospice, according to the charity.
Mr Mee said: “I am delighted to be taking up the post of chair for an organisation that occupies such a respected place at the heart of the West Cheshire, Chester, Ellesmere Port and Deeside communities.
“I am really looking forward to helping to ensure we can continue to provide local people and their families with the help and support they need at a critical time in their lives.”
Margaret Wright, chief executive at the hospice, said: “I am looking forward to working with Robert in his role as chair and the wealth of contacts and experience he brings.
“He and the whole board of trustees are really focused on driving us forward as a charity in order to continue providing the very best care and support for families who depend on our services.
“They will, at times, be faced with challenging decisions but they are fully equipped with a wide range of expertise to do this.”
She added: “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Steve Britton for acting as interim chair. We are very grateful for his support and guidance and we are pleased that he will be staying at the hospice as a trustee.”
The hospice supports patients and families living with a life-limiting condition.
It takes £4m a year, £11,000 a day, to keep its doors open and the hospice receives only around a quarter of its running costs from the NHS.
The hospice points out it depends ‘very heavily on the goodwill of the community’ to help to generate 75% of the income needed.
The charity cares for anyone over the age of 18 who has had a diagnosis of a non-curable, life limiting illness and also supports patients’ families including their children.
There is a bereavement team who are specialists in dealing with children and young adults. Almost 50% of patients return home from the hospice after receiving expert care. Services are totally free to those who need them.
The hospice dates back to 1984 when a public meeting was held by Vivien Smith, the retiring matron at the former Chester Royal Infirmary, who announced that she was going to build a hospice for Chester and the surrounding areas.