Boston Spa fundraiser retires from favourite job

Alyson Wort stands with her daughter Daisy before the 2014 Leeds Marathon, running for Martin House Charity
Alyson Wort stands with her daughter Daisy before the 2014 Leeds Marathon, running for Martin House Charity

The Head of Fundraising for a Boston Spa children’s hospice is looking back on nearly six years in ‘one of the best jobs in Yorkshire’ as she comes towards retiring.

When she retires on August 28 she plans on going to Australia for six weeks where her daughter, Daisy, is currently staying.

Ms Wort said: “This has got to be one of the best jobs in Yorkshire. I couldn’t leave Martin’s House for another job, I knew that when I left it would be to retire or I would stay.”

Although Ms Wort has only been with the hospice in Boston spa for the last six years, she has worked with other hospices for 20 years.

She said: “I left a corporate career in 1995 and found the job I didnt know I’d been looking for all my life. I was fed up of not making a difference and I fell out of love with the job I was doing. It was a very different salary and role and it was strange having to adjust, but the only thing I would change about the past is making the move to this job sooner.”

Martin House currently helps around 340 families offering support, respite and medical care to those with children that are terminally ill.

The Martin House base in Boston Spa also has a secondary building, called Whitby Lodge, for accomodating the needs of terminally ill teenagers.

Ms Wort said: “We bring a bit of normality back to our teenagers because we enable them to do what normal teenagers do like stay up late and sleep in. They cant do that at home , because their parents can’t just go to work and leave them.”

Ms Wort said her favourite memory from working at the hospice was when a terminally ill baby called Thomas fell asleep in his cot next to a baby lamb.

Sadly Thomas passed away the next day but the baby lamb is now called Thomas the sheep and receives visits from baby Thomas’ family.

Ms Wort said: “The care we give to families is exceptional and the difference we make to the lives of our children, regardless of how long that might be, the impact we makeis phenomenal.

As a charitable organisation, Martin House needs to raise five million pounds a year to keep running and it was part of Alyson’s role to find the majority of the funding needed.

She said: “Martin House is just about to start an ambitious three year programme of expanding their reach which will inevitably require an ambitious long term fundraising plan and since I will be 68 by the end of the three year plan, I was asking myself, ‘am I really the right person for this job?’”

Ms Wort does not have any specific plans after she retires but intends on remaining as a part time volunteer for Martin House, working both in the kitchen and at the warehouse which is in need of volunteers to dispatch items to several charity shops run by the hospice.