Magnus Spence joined our Board of Trustees as Patrons Circle Lead. He also holds the role of Deputy Lieutenant in East Sussex. Here, Magnus tells us a little about himself, the Patrons Circle and his voluntary roles within the community.

How do you feel when you step inside the Hospice?

St Michael’s Hospice is a very warm place. The people here are all friendly. There is a sense of purpose and there’s a reassuring attitude and atmosphere around the building. It has a calming influence on me, which is nice, and I feel it is a place for calm reflection.

How do you see the Hospice values (Kind, Respectful, Innovative and Inclusive) brought to life when you visit the Hospice?

If I had to pick just one, the value which I understand, recognise and value most highly is that of kindness. It’s at the heart of what St Michael’s Hospice is about and what I try to be as a person. We should all seek to be kind as often as we can. It costs us nothing and it’s a critical part of the human condition. Being kind makes an enormous difference.

What is the Patrons Circle and what motivates you in your role as Patrons Circle Lead?

The Patrons Circle was established in 2012 with an aim to bring a group of local people together to support the Hospice on a recurring basis.

You can join as a couple or an individual and the Patrons contribute around £35,000 of income per year, including Gift Aid. The key point of joining is to help by contributing recurring income.

The Hospice receives just one third of it’s funding from the Government and around £2m from legacies, which leaves an annual gap of around £3.5m to be funded, based on 2022-23 figures. If we as the Patron’s Circle can help reduce this by providing a recurring income, then that is a fantastic thing to do.

St Michael’s Hospice is a local charity. The Patrons are all local, based in and around the Hastings and Rother district. It feels appropriate that if you are fortunate to be able to afford to contribute in some way, and live locally, the Patron’s Circle seems to be a fitting way to help.

As well as the fantastic staff, there are so many volunteers that donate their time to make the work of the Hospice reach even further. The volunteers have a multiplier effect in the fantastic work that they do so it really feels like every £1 you donate goes so much further to support the community.

What is your goal for the Patrons Circle?

I would love to grow it. We currently have around 100 people in the Patron’s Circle, but it could be so much bigger. Anyone who is touched by St Michael’s Hospice, whether that be as a family member, a visitor, or a supporter, might want to be a patron. From just £20.84 per month, you can become one.

It would be incredible if we could grow from 100 people to 1,000 people.

What are you passionate about as a member of the Hastings and Rother community?

I am most passionate about the physical environment. I love beauty and variety of Hastings and Rother. We’re a kind of hidden gem, in that not many people know a great deal about the county of East Sussex and how special it is. Only we as residents seem to know its best bits, and there is a humility about our knowledge of the area. It’s such a varied county – the beauty of the weald, the downlands, Hastings, the village pubs. It’s a very cool place, and it has everything. I’m a very proud resident.

What does your role as Deputy Lieutenant mean for the community?

The Lord Lieutenancy function serves to represent the Royal Family in East Sussex. The Royal Family is invested in charitable work and the Lord Lieutenancy also does a lot of charitable work.

As a Deputy, I will be more broadly involved in the charitable sector, and this gives me an opportunity to bring the Hospice into that. I have fundraised for St Michael’s Hospice for 12 years. I’m also a Trustee and I really hope to repay the Hospice for allowing me to have those opportunities.

What’s your favourite place to visit in Hastings and Rother and why?

Hastings Old Town! It’s the hippest, coolest place in world. It’s full of gorgeous restaurants, quirky people and wonderful shops. If I’m ever feeling like a day outdoors and away from my garden, it’s got to be Hastings Old Town.

And finally, what does living well mean to you?

To me, living well means living in balance with myself, my family, my friends, with nature, and living in balance with society as a whole. And that means contributing as well as receiving.

Find out more by visiting our Patrons Circle page or calling 01424 445177.

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