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The daughter of a landscape gardener who was cared for during the pandemic by Ashgate Hospice is set to join the charity as its youngest ever Trustee.
Kirstie Wilson, from Bolsover, joined the North Derbyshire hospice in the summer to give something back following the death of her dad, Steven Goodall, in August 2020.
She wanted to put experience in charity finance to good use after Steven was cared for at home before he died, just days after he celebrated his 60th birthday.
Kirstie says Ashgate’s care was ‘invaluable’ during his final weeks under the care of the hospice’s specialist community nurses.
The 30-year-old, who works as a Senior Audit and Accounts Manager at Shorts Accountants, is now undertaking her three-month associateship before joining the Board.
Kirstie said: “Ashgate Hospice’s care is something you hope you never need, but you’re so grateful when it’s there for you in those times of need.
“The hospice allowed Dad to stay home and provided the equipment he needed to be comfortable. He had regular visits from the community team and really enjoyed them coming round – they offered a little light during a dark time.
“The consultants and nurses answered the difficult questions, made sure he had what he needed and kept conversation friendly and chatty rather than using lots of medical jargon.
“My mum also had calls and visits from the hospice’s Supportive Care team after my dad’s death and that meant the world to us.”
Steven, who lived in Bolsover his whole life, was one of 11 children and was married to, Julie; the couple had four children, Kirstie, Jason, Richard and Jordan, as well as six – now seven – grandchildren together.
A keen motorcyclist, he ran his own landscaping business, which has been taken over by his sons, and “family was all that mattered to him”.
He was given the all-clear just under a year before his death after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in May 2019, but a year later it had returned and spread – Steven was told he had months to live.
Kirstie, who is sharing her story for Trustees Week, which takes place between 7th and 11th November, added: “It was awful watching Dad become a shell of his previous self. He was a family man and would be there in a heartbeat if anyone called on him for help; we all loved him very much.
“I’m very grateful to Ashgate for everything they have done for us. The team helped us turn something truly rubbish – due to the cancer and the lockdowns – into something as positive as it could have been.
“I want to join as a Trustee as being on the Board will allow me to do my bit and give something back.”
The charity’s Board of Trustees volunteer their time and expertise to direct its long-term strategy and have an oversight of the charity’s performance.
Kirstie is expected to be confirmed as a trustee with voting rights at the hospice’s next board meeting in December.
Chief Executive, Barbara Anne-Walker, said: “I’m so glad we were able to be there to offer care and support to Steven and his family at what must have been an incredibly difficult time for them all.
“We’re delighted to have Kirstie on board. Her first-hand experience of our care, as well as her experience in charity finance and audits, would make her a valuable addition to the team.
“My Leadership Team colleagues and our other trustees are looking forward to working with Kirstie moving forward.”
If you would like to volunteer for Ashgate Hospice, find out how you can support the charity.