Although we’re almost halfway through 2023, from the perspective of our operating year, we’re only 6 weeks in. With our 2023 Annual General Meeting came some changes to the charity.
Changes at Pepper
After 7 years of dedicated service to the Pepper Foundation, trustee Pat Daley has stepped down as Chair of the Trustees. We would like to thank Pat for her stewardship of the organisation throughout this time.
At our 2023 AGM a new Chair was successfully elected; Robert Breakwell, the founder of the Pepper Foundation, has taken on the role of Chair of the Trustees. After stepping away from the charity for many years, Robert returned in 2019 as a Trustee and now takes on the role of Chair for the next 3 years.
We also said goodbye to some of our Trustees – again, we have a huge thank you to say to Patrick Stevens, Christine Ronaldson, and Linda Petrons who all stepped down at the AGM.
But this means we also have new Trustees! We’d like to extend a warm welcome to Caroline Hawkes, and Jonathan Tweed. Both Caroline and Jonathan are familiar faces within the Pepper family; Caroline has been involved with the Pepper Show for several years, and Jonathan has previously been both a Trustee (2000) and the Chair of the Trustees (2005). We are very happy to have both onboard.
In March we also said goodbye to our Community and Corporate Fundraising Lead, Ruth Proudfoot. We are currently recruiting for the new Head of Fundraising role. You can find out more about the role and how to apply here.
Rennie Grove Hospice Care
The Pepper Foundation has been working in partnership with Rennie Grove Hospice Care since the 1990s (when it was originally known as Iain Rennie Care), helping to launch and fund the children’s hospice at home service that is so important to local families caring for children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions.
In the summer of 2022, Rennie Grove Hospice Care announced its intention to merge with Peace Hospice Care. As of 1st October 2022, the organisation was incorporated and will be known as Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care. The merger increases the reach and scope of services the organisation is able to offer.
The Children’s Hospice at Home Service
The children’s service, managed by Rennie Grove, continues to offer incredible care for families in Bucks and Herts. The Children’s Nursing Team has a great mix of skills, including four Specialist Nurses, two Health Care Assistants, one Play Specialist and a Play Worker.
In the 2022-23 year, the nursing provided well over 800 visits to families and made almost 2,500 phone calls, offering reassurance, advice, and support for families. Even though the worst of the Covid pandemic is over, the nursing team is still very aware of the ongoing impact Covid has on vulnerable people, so still operates with care when visiting patients and their families.
The children’s service is very pleased to be able to offer regular Saturday Play Groups at the Grove House facility in St Albans. This service is available to child patients and their siblings, as well as children of Rennie Grove’s adult patients. The feedback from families has been that this is a great help, relieving social isolation for family members, enabling a bit of fun, and giving families the opportunity of meet with other families facing similar challenges.
2023 and beyond
There are many challenges ahead of the Pepper Foundation in 2023 and 2024. Like all charities, inflation and the cost of living crisis remain a concern. But in the second half of this year, there will be exciting developments with the charity; we’ll be trying some new things and thinking about how we can continue supporting our community.
As always, the Pepper Show returns for 2023, in its 34th year! The 2023 show runs from 10th to 14th October 2023. Tickets will be available soon – keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook page and the Pepper Show page for a very special early bird offer!
Thank you for your continued support,