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Senior Management Team

Our Senior Management Team come from a variety of business backgrounds and bring with them a wealth of professional expertise...

Chief Executives – Operational and Non-Operational

Sandra Britten & Nicola Haggan

In September 2022, Trustees appointed Sandra Britten and Nicola Haggan into the joint leadership roles of Chief Executive (Operational) and Chief Executive (Non-Operational).  This brings a more secure leadership structure to the Hospice, thereby ensuring business continuity and stability.

Both have a long-term knowledge of the Hospice.  Sandra has spent the last 34 years working in the charitable sector and joined the Hospice in 2000, during which time she has developed professionally through a variety of roles including the Director of Information Governance in 2008 and Deputy Chief Executive in 2012.  Nicola joined the Hospice in 2002 and has developed professionally through a variety of roles including the Senior Manager Corporate Services in 2014 and Deputy Chief Executive in 2020.

Sandra and Nicky’s joint leadership roles of Chief Executive (Operational) and Chief Executive (Non-Operational) have overall responsibility for the strategic leadership and management of the Hospice, ensuring that it continues to serve the local community by delivering a high quality service that places patients and their families at the centre of all activities.

Sandra’s role of Chief Executive (Operational) also has departmental responsibility for Clinical Services, Finance, Facilities, Health & Safety, IT & Governance, Administration and Housekeeping.

Nicky’s role of Chief Executive (Non-Operational) also has departmental responsibility for Human Resources, Therapeutic Support Services, Fundraising/Trusts, Retail, Communications & Business Partnerships, Lottery and Catering.

As the UK continues to emerge from the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic and begins to feel the deepening weight of the cost of living crisis, the priority for Sandra and Nicola will be a more risk adverse approach to ensuring that the Hospice’s foundations remain stable at a time of economic uncertainty before exploring future potential development opportunities.


Greg Hildreth

Greg Hildreth, Business & Communications Senior Manager

I have worked at Alice House for over twelve years in a variety of Fundraising and Communications roles.

My job is to manage the Communications Team and make sure that all of our staff, supporters, patients and their families are kept up to date with everything happening here.

We look after press and marketing, newsletters and magazines, websites and social media, branding and artwork as well as providing support to all departments throughout the Hospice.

It’s a wonderful place to work and no two days are ever the same; supporting our patients is a great motivator.

I’ve learned so much in my time here and met some incredible people.
I’m really grateful for the experiences that Alice House has given me and feel proud to be part of something special, that means so much to so many people.


Karen Witherley

Karen Witherley, Retail Senior Manager

As Senior Retail Manager, I am responsible for our ever expanding network of charity shops.

In this role my duties include the recruitment, management and training of staff and volunteers, whilst ensuring that high standards of presentation and customer service are maintained. I also oversee the sourcing of quality stock and strive for continuous sales growth, so that income targets are exceeded.

Behind the scenes, I establish succession plans to ensure there are contingencies in place for unexpected changes, such as staff sickness.
In a very competitive and ever changing marketplace, we need to be adaptable and progressive in our approach to develop our workforce and retain and grow our customer base; it is vital to research competitors and be aware of current trends.

Since joining the Hospice in 2009, I have implemented a number of strategies to ensure the ongoing success of our retail team.


Julie Hildreth

Julie Hildreth, Fundraising Senior Manager

Since taking the post of Senior Fundraising Manager in 2014, following five years as a Retail Manager for the Hospice, I have worked with my team to develop and deliver a high quality annual programme of income generating events and initiatives.

Within this role I manage a substantial budget plan that must be achieved to enable the ongoing delivery of our care services to the community. In order to meet this challenge I need to oversee the marketing and implementation of each project to ensure that it maximises its fundraising potential. These income streams include Hospice events, events in the community, donor campaigns and corporate support.

Whilst fundraising methods and trends shift and evolve, it is my job to ensure that we lead the way to ensure a sustainable future for our work.

In addition to my fundraising duties, I sit on the Hospice’s Senior Management Team, which steers the organisation, with the ongoing goal of providing care for people in Hartlepool and East Durham.


Karen Gibson

Karen Gibson, Clinical Services Senior Manager

I joined Alice House Hospice in July 2017 from Hartlepool Carers and my role is to manage all the patient services at Alice House Hospice.

The teams here are a privilege to work with, I love how challenging and varied my role is and that at the end of the day these services are helping the people of our community to live as well as they can for as long as they can.


Jan Grocott

Jan Grocott, Therapeutic Support Services Senior Manager

I first joined Alice House in 2005 as a Volunteer in Bereavement Support whilst training to become a qualified Counsellor. Both my parents died within 5 months of each other and my mum had been cared for at the Hospice in Hutton Avenue; I was shocked at the impact their deaths had on me and wanted to give something back.

In 2008, newly qualified, I took my first employed post as Bereavement Counsellor and was supported in further training to work with bereaved children. Moving in 2008 to Head of Counselling Support I took on responsibility for the counselling service including the Community Bereavement Service, Children’s Bereavement Service and in time, the Jo & Mya Education project.

I have recently been appointed to the Senior Management Team with responsibility for Therapeutic Support Services. This new service encompasses holistic therapies which take place in our amazing Holistic Wellbeing Centre. I’m so excited for this new challenge and am really looking forward to making holistic therapies available to more people within our communities.


Kay Burrell

Kay Burrell, Director of Finance

I joined Alice House in 2021 as Senior Manager of Finance having previously worked in Senior Finance roles for 39 years supporting Local Authority Services and latterly as Group Head of Finance for a group of colleges and training providers.

I believe my knowledge and expertise of financial matters will be a great asset to Alice House and hope that as part of this wonderful team we can ensure the high standards of quality care our community deserves.

Finance is an important part of charity management and it is my responsibility to ensure the Hospice’s finances are accurate and legally accounted for through effective leadership and efficient systems.  This ensures we are able to provide timely information for input into the decision making process and so ensure the Hospice’s strategic aims and objectives are met.

During my short time here I already have a real “feel good factor” about the organisation; there is a great sense of community spirit, passion and enthusiasm from everybody who is involved with the Hospice. I feel privileged to work here and will endeavour to instill confidence within my team to adapt to the forever changing environment.


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Latest news

Volunteer Sybil’s Message

A busy Alice House Hospice volunteer has shared her story in the hope that it will help motivate others to donate their time to support the local charity.

Local Businesses rally to support Hospice Colour Run

As Alice House fundraisers prepare for their flagship Colour Run event at Seaton Carew on Saturday 13 July, the charity is sending a message of thanks to a number of Hartlepool businesses who have pledged their support to offset event costs.

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How can you help?

Sign up for the Hospice Lottery for a chance to win one of 26 weekly prizes. You can donate to any of our Hospice shops or volunteer to work in one. There are loads of ways you can help, run your own event, tick something off your bucket list or attend one of the Hospice events.
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Hartlepool Hospice Ltd (known locally as Alice House Hospice and formerly Hartlepool & District Hospice)
Registered office: Alice House, Wells Avenue, Hartlepool, TS24 9DA.