KL magazine meets Richard Shaw, Chief Executive Officer of The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House about his life in West Norfolk and the important work of the charity and its team of volunteers... KL MAGAZINE: What is the Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House? RICHARD SHAW: We are a charity that cares for people –and their carers – with cancer, neurological illnesses such as motor neurone disease, and other life-limiting conditions. Today, we support some 280 people every month and help them lead life to the full through high quality care and therapy at the hospice or in their own homes. The bulk of our funding comes from private and company donations with just 11% from the NHS. KL: How long have you been involved with the hospice? RS: About four years. My wife was a volunteer and I originally became involved through attending events and becoming a friend of the hospice, giving modest financial support. I’ve also been a trustee of the charity and became Chief Executive Officer in August 2010. KL: What does a typical day involve for you as Chief Executive? RS: It’s very mixed. As patients are at the heart of everything we do, I make sure I have plenty of contact with them and our fantastic team of volunteers. Funding is a constant challenge and I spend a good deal of time with potential funders, individuals, companies, various parts of the NHS and the media. Our main building is a bungalow and it’s a real challenge to keep this and our ageing KLmagazine March 2011
patient transport vehicles going. We have a great team and I make sure they have my time as well. KL: How does the local community support the hospice? RS: The relationship is critical to us. Volunteers help with patient transport (driving and escorting), fundraising and working in our shops, supporting the clinical team with patient day care and out patients, providing home care support and giving their expertise to the hospice in terms of gardening, administration, IT and finance. KL: What hopes and plans do you have for the hospice during the next 12 months? RS: Our belief is that everyone is entitled to a good death and be able to live life to the full, even with a life-limiting illness. Our services ensure we play a major part in helping make this happen. This means we have to expand our services and move to a new building that’s able to cope with the demands of a full range of services and expand our carer support. Northwest and rural Norfolk isn’t well served at the moment, and with better financial support we could do a lot more. KL: What do you think makes West Norfolk so appealing to so many people? RS: My wife and I fell in love with Norfolk because of the people – it’s a beautiful place to live, but Norfolk people make it very special.
KL: Who inspires you? RS: Outside of my family I look to people with selfless commitment. Some – like Martin Luther King – have changed the world. Some like my boss, the Chairman Tessa Scott, are totally committed to making the lives of local people better. Others that have inspired me are those who’ve reacted to great adversity in an extraordinary way; people I’ve met or know, like Simon Weston, Marc Woods and the late Nicole Drybrugh. Just take a look at their websites to be inspired by their stories. KL: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise people... RS: I planned to go to Art College after 6th Form, but was diagnosed with a very nasty form of cancer. The next six years were spent undergoing various operations and experimental drug treatment. Somehow it worked – despite what the doctors said. It just goes to show. I then trained as an accountant but realised it wasn’t for me, and decided to move in a different direction. Since my diagnosis at 18 I haven’t done anything artistic. Maybe it’s time I did! KL
Details The Norfolk Hospice The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, Common Road (West), Snettisham, King’s Lynn, Norfolk PE31 7PF Tel: 01485 543163 Web: www.norfolkhospice.org.uk
Published on Mar 1, 2011