Education Staff

Robert Standfield head of education

Education and training department staff:

Robert Standfield, Head of Education

Robert has over 35 years’ experience of working in healthcare from starting as a Healthcare Assistant to working on national workforce development programmes.

Robert progressed as a Registered Mental Nurse (RMN) and State Registered Nurse (SRN) to specialising in care of the Elderly Mentally Ill and a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) in north Worcestershire. After completing a Diploma in Management Studies at Birmingham Polytechnic Robert entered general management and was previously the Directorate Manager for Medicine at Worcester Royal Infirmary.

A firm believer in education to support personal ambition and develop best standards in care Robert then went on to manage NHS contracts with higher education providers in Worcester and Birmingham as Director of Workforce Development before joining the NHS Modernisation Agency and leading on a number of national projects introducing new roles and new ways of working.

Robert has a special interest in developing competence frameworks that support care pathways where the patient is at the centre of the care provided. Using well proven methodologies and tools he is able to support individuals and organisations initiate, analyse and introduce ways to improve patient care and identify competence frameworks that meet statutory and organisational development needs.


Val Wellings


Val Wellings, Education and Learning Facilitator

Val has many years nursing experience in several disciplines, adult, mental health and paediatrics. She specialised in nursing people in their own homes with a special interest in caring for people at end of life.

Val was instrumental in setting up and running a child bereavement service in Worcestershire, and then worked in a dual role of nursing and education at Acorns Children’s Hospice when it opened in Worcester. She is also a qualified Complementary Therapist, and trained as a Clinical Supervisor, and moved to the Education Department at St Richard’s in 2010. She has completed her Post-Graduate Certificate in Education and has Associate Lecturer status with the University of Worcester.


Emma Brettall


Emma Brettell, Clinical Practice Facilitator

Emma has over 9 years’ experience as a registered nurse having previously worked at Worcester Royal Hospital before moving to St Richard’s in February 2008 to take up a staff nurse post  on the in-patient unit. In 2011 Emma undertook a new role as sister on the in-patient unit and also gained a BSc in Palliative Care from The University of Birmingham.  In March 2015 Emma joined the Education Team as Clinical Practice Facilitator, running both internal and external training courses, she is passionate about the delivery of palliative care from both a nursing and educational point of view.


Tracey Grint


Tracey Grint, Care Quality Co-ordinator & Education Facilitator.

Tracey trained as a  Registered General Nurse and has gained a wealth of experience in acute and community settings. Tracey was recruited by St Richard’s as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in 2006 and made an immediate impact by developing one of the first nurse-led clinics in a GP practice.  The clinic specialised in providing expert support and advice for patients and their families who needed specialist palliative care. Following this Tracey was lead on the successful implementation of Advance Care Planning Project (ACP) across Worcestershire that included the planning and delivery of education programmes for health and social care staff in the use of ACP and Advanced Decisions to Refuse Treatment protocols and documentation.

Since 2014 Tracey has been the Care Quality Co-ordinator at St Richard’s leading on the coordination of the clinical quality agenda which includes assuring compliance with national and regional regulators as well organisational audits and service evaluation.

In April 2015 Tracey became the newest member of the education team as Education Facilitator to support the development of education programmes for all the workforce (including volunteers) at St Richard’s in partnership with a range of other education providers. Tracey has a special interest in dementia care and is also an Associate Lecturer at the University of Worcester. Tracey is also developing specialist education modules within the Association of Dementia Studies examining issues for people with dementia at the end of life.


Anne Darlaston


Anne Darlaston, Administrator

Anne has been with the Hospice for 4 years now having entered the profession from a career in Personal Taxation. Looking for a change of direction she joined St Richard’s as a volunteer in Fundraising and was appointed Education Administrator in November 2012.


Becky Stewart


Beckie Stewart, Administrator

Beckie has been working in administration for over 15 years in various sectors, including advertising and marketing, architectural and logistics.  She joined St Richards as Education Administrator in June 2009.


Delivery of specialist education and training requires support from experts within the Hospice and this is provided by:

Dr Nicola WilderspinDr. Nicky Wilderspin, Medical Director and Consultant in Palliative Medicine

For more information please click here



Sarah Popplestone-Helm - Head of Family Support Services

Sarah Popplestone-Helm, Head of Family Support Services

Find out more about Family Support Services.

Sarah has managed the Family Support Service at St Richard’s since 2007. Qualifying as a Social Worker in 1984 and passionate about support for the families and carers of the dying, her focus has been hospice psychosocial palliative care. Her specialist area is support for children and young people and she has spent many years developing and running support services for patients and their families.

Sarah gained qualifications in adult education and supports the hospice education department to deliver a wide variety of internal and external courses.


Ingrid Walden, Counsellor

Ingrid has a background in nursing, mental health support, the elderly and carer service provision, prior to qualifying as a BACP accredited counsellor. She has a range of skills and training including adult teacher training and supervision skills.

Ingrid is based in the Family Support Team for counselling and supervision and provides an education resource across the Hospice for psychological themed teaching.