New hospice champion calls for army to spread the word

He’s the new ambassador of Rotherham Hospice – and his first task is a call to arms.

New director of fundraising Aaron Firth, pictured, is appealing to townspeople to help him create a team of Hospice Champions – volunteers willing to spread the word about the hospice’s compassion and care throughout the borough. 

“Every day, there are people in Rotherham telling others about the dedication care teams at the hospice and in its at-home service give. Whether they experienced it first-hand when care was given to their loved ones, or they saw how much it helped a friend or a colleague, their views are highly valued by the hospice teams,” said Aaron. 

“We want to harness that goodwill so it can encourage even more people to support our vital services by fundraising, by telling their story and by helping us reach out to the whole community the Hospice serves.” 

In 2015 1,590 new patients were referred to the hospice. Specialist Clinical Nurses made over 5,402 visits and the Hospice at Home team a further 8,897. But the independent charity needs £5.7 million a year to provide its services – and must raise £2.2 million of that through voluntary support. 

“That’s nearly £7,000 a day, every day of the year to provide our current services and we want to reach even more people in their time of need,” added Aaron. “I am determined to grow fundraising and want Hospice Champions to be our frontline voices, out there telling their personal stories of the hospice to companies, schools, church and community groups.” 

Aaron brings business development, sales and marketing expertise from his previous role as direct marketing manager of Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield, and contacts from the Rotherham business community having previously been sales and marketing director for GMFL, an educational furniture specialist manufacturer based in Meadowbank, Rotherham.  

“I am delighted to be part of the Hospice team and back in Rotherham. I have good memories of working with generous, straight-talking people and will be drawing on my time here the first time around to help the hospice,” said Aaron. 

The 46-year-old lives in Scarcliffe, near Bolsover, with his wife and two children, where he is a school governor. In his free time he coaches rugby at Chesterfield Panthers and was one of the founders of the popular Scarcliffe Soap Box Derby, a downhill race which has raised thousands for charity in just three years. 

Hospice chief executive Christopher Duff said: “Aaron brings new dynamism and expertise to our fundraising. We are delighted he has joined our Hospice team.  He will help us with our plans to support the many Rotherham people who are coping with terminal illness. “I would also like to thank Paul Simpson and Nick Cragg of Nicholas Associates, one of the region’s leading recruiters, who gave their services free of charge to  help with Aaron’s recruitment.” 

To find out more about volunteering as a Hospice Ambassador, contact Voluntary Services Manager Tracey HarrisonMarr on 01709 308913, or at tracey.harrison-marr@rotherhamhospice.org.uk 

 

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