A tribute to Bill Henderson

Tuesday, 7 April 2020
We are shocked and saddened to hear of the death of one of our Patrons, Bill Henderson, and we will be forever grateful for all he did for our Hospice, in the 30 years he supported our work.

Bill touched the lives of so many of our Hospice staff, volunteers and supporters, all who have wonderful things to say in his memory.

Rebecca Taylor, our Community Fundraiser opens our tribute with heart warming words about Bill's fantastic character - something we will always remember him for.

'There was always something so special about Bill. He was an incredible man who lit up every room he entered. For everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, I am sure that you will agree that he had a glow and buzz about him that made you instantly feel at ease in his presence. He had a beaming smile and a heart filled with passion which made him the selfless man that we will always remember. There is one thing for sure, there will never be another character like the very lovely man that we know as Bill Henderson.'

Many of the team here at the Hospice worked alongside Bill for a number of years, including our Chief Executive, David Stewart, who echoes Rebecca's admiration for Bill's commitment and passion.
'I have worked closely with Bill for the best part of 18 years and his dedication to, and support of, the Hospice was obvious from the first day I met him until his untimely death.  His support of colleagues in our shops was immense, and he was very proud of the part he played in ensuring their success over the years. I greatly appreciated his support and loyalty over the years, and Ishall miss him dearly.'

Over the years, Bill enjoyed organising countless fundraising events, concerts and dinners in aid of the Hospice, with the support of the fantastic Hospice & Charities Darts & Domino League and The Rotary Club of Pontefract. Since 1993, the league have funded a total of six vehicles to support our retail arm, and this year they very  kindly donated the funds to cover the costs of a new boiler. Bill's ambition was always to do good for his chosen charity, whilst creating memories and bringing the community together, and he did this so very well.

Our Chair of The Board of Trustees, Gordon Tollefson,  perhaps has the longest memories of Bill, as the pair were both involved with the set up of the Hospice over 30 years ago. Reflecting on Bill's contribution to the Hospice over the year's they worked alongside each other, Gordon said;

'Bill has always held a great interest in The Prince of Wales Hospice from the days when he was a Police Superintendent in the Pontefract District and he used to liaise with members of the Hospice Team in the preparatory work needed for when our President, HRH The Prince of Wales, was visiting the Hospice. Amongst his many other activities Bill was the coordinator of a local Darts and Dominoes Team. The Prince of Wales Hospice was the team’s charity and over the years they have supported our fleet of vans used in the movement of goods in our retail sector.

'Soon after his retirement from the Police, Bill became a member of the Hospice fund and later joined our Board of Trustees, working with us on the main Board for a number of years. As the number of shops increased it was prudent to transfer the retail element of the Hospice to a separate Board of Directors and it was Bill’s choice to take up a Director post on that Board. He soon became a familiar and very popular face around our shops and his dedication to the Hospice was without measure.'

Whilst all of us at the Hospice mourn his loss, we will remember him as someone who gave his heart and soul to the ongoing success of the Prince of Wales Hospice. Rest in Peace, Bill.
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