Posted: Fri 6th Nov 2020

Hope House volunteer retires after 26 years of service

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Nov 6th, 2020

A Hope House Children’s Hospices volunteer who played an important role in the opening of Tŷ Gobaith has retired after 26 years’ service.

Janette Welch, who lives near Denbigh, became a volunteer trustee in 1994 where she quickly opened a pop-up shop to raise awareness for Hope House, making £1170 for the charity to set up in Shropshire, Cheshire and North Wales.

To mark national Trustees’ Week between 2-6 November, Hope House are celebrating the contribution of Janette who is one of their founding trustees.

“As a primary school teacher, I had witnessed the effects on families living with a child with severe disabilities, so the idea of a children’s hospice was at once close to my heart,” says Janette.

“When we opened in 1995 Hope House was only the tenth children’s hospice in the world – we were all on a steep learning curve.

“As the management team came into existence we, as trustees, had to gradually step back from the day-to-day running of the hospice.

“We were lucky from the start that we had a great team in whom we felt we could place our complete trust to carry out our aims.”

Janette has remained an active Board of Trustees member and was vice chair, providing advice and support whilst ensuring governance of the regional charity.

Chief Executive Andy Goldsmith said Janette had been instrumental in helping to establish the first Hospice at Home service which allows children to die peacefully at home with sufficient support as well as a bereavement service for local families whose child has passed away.

“Janette remained a champion for the needs of children and families living in the more remote areas of North Wales where access to services can be challenging,” he added.

“I am sure she will count as one of the most significant achievements the opening of our Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospice in Conwy in 2004, which is the only children’s hospice in North Wales.

“Uniquely, Tŷ Gobaith is able to support and care for children and families whose first language is Welsh.

“Janette has always been ‘hands on’ and could be found regularly volunteering with the team in the hospices, supporting the nurses and carers, engaging with the children and talking with their families.

“She has given her time, expertise, and passion selflessly for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions and she can be rightly proud of her contribution to developing a stronger and more caring society where no one faces the death of a child alone.”

Janette says she will never forget her time as a trustee, or the time she spent at the hospices with the children and families.

She said: “As I look back I am proud to have been on a board of trustees who have consistently shown such care and consideration in their dealings with everyone.

“The board has been forward thinking and always aware of new possibilities and, as the organisation has grown, it has become extremely business-like.

“It has been a huge privilege to be part of such a wonderful organisation.”

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