Mary reflects on 17 years at hospice’s helm

Outgoing chairwoman of Overgate Hospice boad Mary Wilkinson, left, with incoming chairwoman Val Steele, at Elland Cricket Club.
Outgoing chairwoman of Overgate Hospice boad Mary Wilkinson, left, with incoming chairwoman Val Steele, at Elland Cricket Club.

The outgoing chairman of Overgate Hospice has said her 17 years in the role have been full of memories that she will treasure forever.

Mary Wilkinson, of Todmorden, has stepped down from the top role after nearly two decades as she feels it is time for somebody younger to take the helm.

The Overgate Hospice team made a special presentation to Mary at Elland Cricket Club to thank her for her contribution over the years.

Appeals manager Laura Golding said: “She has been a marvellous volunteer and has been instrumental in promoting awareness of the hospice and leading us into the future.

“People like her mean that we can carry on doing what we do best.”

Mary, who was presented with a bouquet of flowers, said: “I had a lovely day.

“I was really overwhelmed by the things that people said.

“It’s one of those things that I will remember forever.”

Mary first became involved with Overgate Hospice when a new group was set up in Hebden Bridge.

The newly formed group carried out fundraising activities in the local area.

Soon after, it opened the first Overgate Hospice shop on Market Street, Hebden Bridge.

“We were absolutely amazed at the amount of money that we were raising, so we started looking for a shop,” Mary said.

“We were very confident that it was going to work and it would take off.”

Mary represented the Hebden Bridge group at Overgate management meetings.

“My interest moved from fundraising to what we do for patients,” she said.

She was asked to become a director and, a few years later, became chairman - both voluntary roles.

“I have enjoyed it immensely,” she said.

“I’ve never regretted a minute that I was involved.

“There’s something about the people who work in the hospice world.

“They are so easy to get on with.

“They are such friendly people and they support each other very, very well.”