Ex-student makes a difference at world’s first children’s hospice

A FORMER student of Priestley College is now director of finance at the world’s first children’s hospice.

Richard Quayle, now 36, left Priestley in 1994 and went on to study at the University of Central Lancashire and then accountancy at John Moores University.

He is now working at Helen & Douglas House, which cares for children and young adults with life-shortening conditions and offers support to their families in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties.

“Priestley was a stepping stone for me because it put me on the finance and business path,” he said. “I got six GCSEs all at C and didn’t know what I wanted to do, but hopefully my story shows what you can achieve if you continue to work hard after school.

“I also received some very valuable careers advice at College that helped me to make the right decisions and that is why I am where I am today.”

Richard, whose family still live in Stockton Heath, studied a BTEC in Business and Finance at Priestley and went on to work for the Audit Commission.

The former Bridgewater High School pupil took up his position at Helen & Douglas House one year ago.

The two hospice houses offer specialist symptom and pain management, medically-supported short breaks and end-of-life care, as well as counselling and practical support for the whole family.

Their aim is to help every young person – aged from birth to 35 – who visits one of the hospices to live life to the full, even when that life is short.

Helen House was the world’s first children’s hospice founded in 1982 by Sister Frances Dominica. Douglas House opened in 2004 as the world’s first hospice specifically for young adults aged 16 to 35.

Richard said: “We are a close-knit family here, but I have to try and balance that with running the hospice as a business.”

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